Today marks 1 year since HPD raid that killed Houston couple

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020
HPD DRUG RAID TIMELINE: Before the raid to now
Here is how the botched Harding Street raid case unraveled, from before the raid to murder charges filed against former HPD Officer Gerald Goines.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tuesday marks one year since a botched HPD raid killed a couple inside their home in southeast Houston.

The home in the 7800 block of Harding Street was the scene of a "no-knock" narcotics warrant that was executed by Houston police officers on Jan. 28, 2019. The raid resulted in a shootout between a team of officers and two residents inside. The operation resulted in Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle, a married couple, both being killed. Four officers, including Gerald Goines, who retired in the wake of the raid's investigation, were wounded.

On this first anniversary of the deaths, Nicholas' family announced that they filed a federal court motion to prevent the destruction of evidence. They also want to prevent the permanent sealing of evidence in another case similar to Nicholas' and Tuttle's, where they say another unarmed Houstonian was shot to death by a narcotics officer.

Lawyers for Nicholas' family have asked a district judge to allow them to intervene in the settled case and then "modify the protective order demanded by the City in nearly all civil rights cases that keeps from the public evidence, including records of internal investigations, depositions under oath, and other materials."

The Nicholas family alleges the protective order conceals evidence of HPD conduct from the public and requires that it be turned over to the city of Houston without protections against destruction.

"A year later, our family's search for the truth of what happened to Rhogena still goes on. Our independent investigation is focused not only on HPD Narcotics Squad 15, but also about the conduct, pattern and practices of HPD before, during, and after the out-of-control, unjustified execution of Rhogena in her own home," said John Nicholas, Rhogena's brother.

Earlier this month, Goines and a second former Houston police officer, Steven Bryant, were indicted by a grand jury. Both men were already charged.

Goines, who was an HPD officer for 34 years and is accused of lying to get a search warrant to go inside the home, was indicted for felony murder and tampering with a government document.

WATCH: Officers Goines and Bryant released from jail

Fired HPD officer Gerald Goines was released from jail Friday night on bond after being charged with murder in a deadly botched raid.

In August, Bryant was charged and now indicted with a count of tampering with a government document.

Bryant is accused of lying to police to try to cover up the bad search warrant. Both officers retired while under investigation. Bryant had 23 years on the force.

Both former officers are expected back in court next month.

A vigil to honor the couple is planned for 5 p.m. Tuesday in front of the Harding Street home.


READ MORE: Harding Street home sealed off for grand jury visit