Ex-HPD cop appears in court; man claims he was wrongly arrested

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Former Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines made an appearance in court this afternoon, though it wasn't for the murder charges against him.

Goines was subpoenaed to testify in a hearing about Otis Mallet, a man who claims he was wrongly convicted of drug possession because Goines lied multiple times while handling the case.

Mallet spent two years in prison for a drug crime that was based on evidence Goines is accused of making up, according to Mallet's attorneys.

"Otis has been fighting this case since 2008," said his appellate attorney Jonathan Landers. "So, it's fair to say he's pretty tired of being put through all this."

Initially during today's hearing, Goines' attorney Nicole Deborde said her client was unavailable, having just had surgery yesterday. But the judge in the hearing was not satisfied with the answer, and instructed that Goines show up anyway.

RELATED: More drug cases involving Houston officer Gerald Goines dismissed

Wearing athletic clothing and a bandage covering his nose and mouth, Goines appeared in court briefly around 1 p.m. He told the judge that he would plead the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination if called to testify, and he was allowed to leave.

Goines did not comment as he walked out.

The hearing then continued, with prosecutors and appellate attorneys agreeing on several major points. Both agreed that they believe Goines lied about an undercover informant, and falsified paperwork during Mallet's initial trial.

"We agree false testimony was given by Gerald Goines in the trial of Mr. Mallet in 2008," said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. "We also agree that he failed to disclose relevant evidence to our prosecutors, who then failed to disclose to the defense, through no fault of her own."

Much of this information in the Mallet case came to light after Goines was implicated in the botched no-knock raid on Harding Street. That raid killed Rhogena Nicholas and her husband Dennis Tuttle. Four officers, including Goines, were also injured. With Goines himself now facing murder charges, thousands of cases he handled, including Mallet's, are now under scrutiny.

"There are thousands of cases we've requested information from HPD," said Ogg. "It simply takes time to get to the truth, especially since (this case) is 12 years old, and there are many, many cases we're looking at involving Gerald Goines."

Mallet's 2008 conviction stemmed from a case where he was accused of participating in a drug deal. Goines was the arresting officer in the case.

Thursday's hearing will determine if Mallet will receive a new trial for the charges. Goines' testimony in 2008 was used to convict Mallet, who served time behind bars and is now on parole.

"These lawyers can make any claims they want," said Deborde, Goines' attorney. "No matter how outrageous they want them to be, he still can't answer any of those claims."

Mallet's attorneys want their client to be exonerated and found actually innocent. That way, not only will his name be cleared, but it will make it possible that Mallet will have access to the state fund that compensates people who are wrongfully convicted. The judge in Thursday's hearing has to decide whether to issue a ruling asking for a new trial. Then, the state court of appeals would have to agree in order for a new trial to take place. It's part of a process that could last another full year. Mallet has always maintained his innocence.

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