Family of woman killed in HPD raid plans to release new findings, attorney says

KTRK logo
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Houston lawmakers discuss handling of investigation into botched raid
WATCH: Texas House of Representatives member Gene Wu calls for change after Wednesday's sudden release of the Harding Street audit.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of Rhogena Nicholas, the woman killed in her home during a controversial drug raid by Houston police, says the plan to introduce new findings, according to the family's attorney Michael Patrick Doyle.

Nicholas' family is set to appear in probate court for a hearing in the case at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

According to a release by the Doyle LLP and St. Martin & Bourque LLC law firms, "In a ruling Monday, Judge Jerry Simoneaux of Harris County Probate Court No. 1 denied the city's latest attempt to withhold evidence of the incident from the family of Rhogena Nicholas, who was killed along with her husband, Dennis Tuttle, on Jan. 28, 2019. In earlier rulings, the Texas Supreme Court twice rejected the city's attempts to stop the probate court, which routinely handles wrongful death and probate cases, from proceeding with the Nicholas family's petition to investigate the incident."

Doyle said that during Friday's hearings they will present new findings from their own investigation and present witness testimony from a family member, from expert witnesses and from a representative of the Houston Police Department.

"The Nicholas family is grateful to be moving forward with our investigation. From the beginning, the city's story about the incident has never made sense. It's time for the cover-up to end," said Doyle.

Nicholas and Tuttle were killed in their home on Harding Street. Officers were serving a drug warrant that was later determined to be based on the word of an informant who never actually went to the house.

Relatives of Nicholas have now filed a brief asking the Texas Supreme Court to "force an end to the 19-month coverup of the incident by the City of Houston."

An attorney for the family claims the city does not have any legal precedent to withhold the testimony and evidence from relatives.

In addition, Nicholas' family said they are looking for a court order for sworn depositions of HPD managers responsible for the narcotics unit involved in the raid, including HPD Capt. Paul Q. Follis and HPD Lt. Marsha Todd.

Family of botched Harding Raid victim claims HPD is 'uncooperative'

The video provided at the top of this article is from a previous report.


State lawmakers call HPD botched Harding Street raid audit a 'scam'

Grand jury indicts ex-HPD officers involved in botched raid

6 former HPD officers charged with 15 felonies linked to deadly botched raid

Family of woman killed in botched raid says HPD is 'uncooperative'