Josue Flores murder investigation exposes rift between prosecutors and police

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One week ago, Houston's Near Northside community got news they never expected to hear: charges were dropped against Andre Jackson for the murder of Josue Flores.

"The feeling's a lot of frustration, a lot of disappointment," said community activist Cynthia Reyes-Revilla. Her neighbors said they just want someone caught.

What has made the situation more difficult is that many residents feel like they are getting different stories from the Houston Police Department and the District Attorney's Office.

"I do feel like there are two different stories and I know a lot of the community feels the same way," said Reyes-Revilla. "The police are telling us one thing, and the DA another."

It was the decision of DA Kim Ogg and her team that the DNA evidence would not support a conviction of Jackson.

But today, the former lead investigator on the Flores investigation pushed back on that. Sergeant Tommy Ruland recently retired from HPD.

"I stand behind the Houston Police Department and the homicide division," Ruland told Eyewitness News in a phone interview. "I believe Andre Jackson should stand trial.

Sources tell Eyewitness News that the two former prosecutors who handled the Flores case feel the same way. The prosecutors believe they had enough evidence to proceed to trial. Both prosecutors were replaced in January during a major staff shake-up, as newly elected DA Ogg revamped the office.

However, it's important to note that neither the former prosecutors nor the retired police investigator were privy to the new DNA evidence.

Ogg's decision to drop the case, while controversial, has its defenders.

"There are plenty of times that you have to realize as a prosecutor that you may have the right person charged, but you just can't prove it," said Murray Newman, a defense attorney and former prosecutor who doesn't always see eye to eye with Ogg. "Part of your job and your duty is to dismiss when that happens, I applaud her for that."

Northside neighbors aren't quite ready to accept that Jackson is now a free man.

"It's kind of opened up a wound that was healing, so it's bringing it all up again, there's a lot of concern in the neighborhood," said resident Janet Roe.

The community has brought together Ogg, HPD Police Chief Art Acevedo, and others together for a town hall. The hope is that the forum will answer many of the questions posed by neighbors. However, until someone is prosecuted for Flores murder, there will be little rest on the Near North Side.

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