Feds meet with DA and HPD as botched raid findings arrive

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police detectives turned over the results of their criminal investigation of the botched Harding Street raid to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Only ABC13 Eyewitness News was there around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon as two investigators brought boxes of materials and met with prosecutors for two hours. Sources tell us investigators from the Department of Justice were also present at the meeting.

There is belief among law enforcement sources that someone will be facing criminal charges in the death of Rhogena Nicholas and her husband Dennis Tuttle.

On Jan. 28, 2019, the couple was shot to death in the aftermath of a no-knock raid led by former HPD narcotics officer Gerald Goines.

"As stated on the onset, we will leave no stone unturned in our effort to determine the facts," said HPD Chief Art Acevedo in a statement. "Today is a major step in that direction and we continue to be committed to a relentless pursuit of truth, transparency, and accountability."

District Attorney Kim Ogg responded with the following statement: "Our independent investigation continues; all of the evidence will be reviewed by prosecutors and ultimately presented to a grand jury to determine what criminal charges are warranted. We will be thorough and methodical, because the people of Harris County deserve the truth."

Goines' attorney Nicole DeBorde says her client has cooperated with investigators from the beginning, though, they have no knowledge of what investigators found.

"Based on what we know, I don't believe criminal charges are warranted," said DeBorde. "This is exactly what we hoped for in terms of a lengthy, thorough and detailed investigation. We're going to leave the charging decisions up to the entities like the DA's office."

Attorneys for the Nicholas and Tuttle families do not believe HPD's investigation is thorough enough. They hired their own private investigative team, who have spent the past five days combing through the Harding Street house. They have collected dozens of pieces of evidence, and have tried to reconstruct the crime scene.

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ABC13's Miya Shay looks inside the home where a couple died during a botched HPD raid on Harding Street.

Wednesday afternoon, the family attorneys and the private investigators had a separate meeting with the district attorney's office. That meeting took place after the HPD meeting, and did not involve federal prosecutors.

"We had a great meeting with the DA and the forensic team," said family attorney Mike Doyle. "Hopefully, a lot of important questions about what happened once they knocked down that door will be answered."

Doyle says the district attorney's office was very open to looking at the evidence collected by the private investigators. He says the private investigators will hand over what they collected to Ogg's team next week. Doyle hopes the district attorney will consider HPD's evidence as well as the private investigator's evidence and reach conclusions about possible criminal charges.

The district attorney's office could present its findings to a grand jury in a few weeks.


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