Harris County prosecutors agree with defense attorneys that a man convicted of drug possession in 2011 largely on the testimony of disgraced former Houston police narcotics officer Gerald Goines is innocent, the Houston Chronicle reported.
In a joint filing asking a judge to declare Otis Mallet innocent, prosecutors and defense attorneys say the man’s rights to due process were violated when Goines lied about nearly every aspect of the case against Mallet in an alleged 2008 drug buy.
Gerald Goines has been indicted on state and federal charges of felony murder in the shooting deaths of Houston homeowners Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas. Goines and his former partner, Steven Bryant, are alleged to have falsified documents that led to the drug raid of the couple’s home and their deaths. Five officers were injured in the January 2019 raid.
Goines and Bryant are also charged with tampering with a government document.
Prosecutors have begun reexamining 14,000 cases that Goines and his narcotics squad worked over the past five years. District Attorney Kim Ogg said Sunday that Mallet’s case is important because it shows misconduct from Goines several years before that, the newspaper reported.
“Now we know he was lying and using the district attorney’s office as a tool to convict people wrongfully as early as 2008,” Ogg said. “It also raises questions about how buy-money was being issued by the Houston Police Department’s narcotics division and used by narcotics officers like Gerald Goines, and how drug payouts were being supervised — and audited.”
Ogg indicated Mallet’s case may just be the beginning of convictions being overturned.
“Anybody who was convicted as a result of Gerald Goines’ testimony, or [Goines’] involvement in a case that is significant or relevant, will now be given a presumption when they file their writ that Goines’ testimony or evidence in their case was false,” she said.
Mallet spent two years of his eight-year sentence in prison before he was paroled. He filed a post-conviction writ in 2013 arguing his innocence, the Chronicle reported.