August 23, 2019
A former Houston Police officer is charged with two felony murders and another with felony tampering with evidence, for their roles in a botched narcotics raid in which two civilians and their dog were shot to death and four officers wounded, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.
Gerald Wayne Goines was charged with felony murders and Steven Bryant with evidence tampering in connection with the drug raid at a home at 7815 Harding Street on Jan. 28, 2019.
“The eyes of this community and the nation are on this case; it is critical to the public trust that we reveal the true facts about what, how and why two civilians were killed in their own home by members of the Houston Police Narcotics Squad 15,” Ogg said.
“These two charges of Felony Murder and Tampering with a Government Document against former Officers Goines and Bryant are the beginning of holding those responsible accountable. This is the start, the tip of the iceberg, in terms of how deep and wide we are investigating. We will find the truth about this entire matter.”
These charges against Goines are based on evidence prosecutors believe shows that Goines lied about the victims’ drug activity, threat level, and other factors used to obtain a “no knock warrant” signed by a municipal court judge. They were shot to death at the residence.
Bryant is charged with tampering with a government document for knowingly providing false information in a Houston Police report filed in the aftermath of the raid.
Civil Rights Division prosecutors will begin presenting evidence to a grand jury soon on these and other HPD Narcotics Division Squad 15 officers involved in the shootings.
In addition to the officer-involved shooting, prosecutors are reviewing the events which preceded the deadly raid, including extraneous corruption allegations against Goines. They are also reviewing more than 14,000 previously filed criminal cases which involve Squad 15.
Goines is charged with first-degree felonies and faces up to 99 years or life on each charge if convicted. Bryant is charged with felony tampering with a government document, punishable by up to two years in state jail.
Prosecutors have contacted lawyers for the defendants, who are expected to surrender today by 3 p.m.
The Houston Police Dept.’s Special Investigations Unit handed over in May the results of their investigation to the District Attorney’s Office. The DA Office Civil Rights Division is conducting an independent investigation.
Prosecutors have worked with the Texas Rangers and other agencies in this ongoing matter.