Breaking News
More () »

Why was ex-Houston police officer Gerald Goines charged with felony murder?

The investigation into the deaths of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas is far from over.

HOUSTON — We are beginning to understand more as to what led the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to file felony murder charges against a former Houston Police officer Gerald Goines.

Goines appeared in a Houston courtroom on Monday morning.

There are still a lot of questions about what happened before, during and after the botched drug raid that killed Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas.

KHOU legal analyst Gerald Treece said the Harding Street investigation against Goines and former HPD officer Steven Bryant is far from over.

“This is not the end of the book,” Treece exclaimed. “This is the first chapter.”

RELATED: 'It didn’t just happen overnight' | Activists hope botched drug raid leads to more transparency

RELATED: A closer look at former HPD officers charged in deadly Harding Street raid

Some people are trying to understand why Goines was charged with felony murder.

Treece said a felony was committed during the drug raid that led to the shooting that killed Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas.

Credit: HCSO
Gerald Goines' mug shot

“That is the tip turned out to be not valid. The no-knock warrant was fraudulent, therefore that could be it or it could be the tampering with government documents,” Treece said.

Treece said that makes Goines responsible even if he didn’t pull the trigger.

People are also asking why doesn’t the DA’s office didn’t charge the tipster that lead police to Harding Street.

WATCH | You ask, we answer: What happens next in botched Harding Street drug raid?

Treece believes there are still other charges waiting to be filed.

He doesn’t think a grand jury will upgrade Goines charges to capital murder.

"Because you have to have a record with intent to take a life and here I think they had the record intent to improperly enter a home, improperly tamper with documents," he said.

RELATED: Former HPD cop Gerald Goines released on bond for felony murder charges in deaths of Houston couple

RELATED: Family attorneys for woman killed in Harding Street raid release statement after former cop charged with murder

Treece said the couple’s death is unfortunate but the review of up to 14,000 cases involving the officers is the bigger story.

“These officers, same set of officers, could have engaged in the same improper conduct and that’s bad news for the city, bad news for the police department but it’s good news for justice,” he said.

Also, Treece said the U.S. Justice Department is now involved which changes a lot of things.

He doesn’t expect this case to go to trial anytime in the next year.


Before You Leave, Check This Out