Six More Houston Police Officers Charged After 2019 Raid That Killed Couple

Bullet holes can be seen at the entrance of the Houston home after a botched raid in January 2019 that left a couple dead. (Credit…Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press)

Six more Houston police officers were indicted on Monday — including one on a murder charge — in connection with a botched raid in 2019 that claimed the lives of a local couple, prosecutors said.

Five of those officers were charged with first- and second-degree felonies stemming from what prosecutors said was a scheme by members of a Houston Police Department narcotics squad to pad their overtime pay.

The indictments, announced by the Harris County district attorney, Kim Ogg, at a news conference, brought to 12 the total number of current and former officers charged as part of a sweeping investigation into police misconduct and corruption that stemmed from the raid. Two are charged with murder.

Monday’s indictments came nearly two years after narcotics squad members burst into the home of Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59, who were killed in the Jan. 28, 2019, shootout. Four officers were injured by gunfire in the raid, including one who was paralyzed, the authorities said.

“The consequences of corruption are that two innocent people and their dog were shot to death in their home by police,” Ms. Ogg said in a statement. “Four officers were shot, one paralyzed, and now all of them will face jurors who will determine their fate.”

Officer Felipe Gallegos, who Ms. Ogg said shot Mr. Tuttle in what she characterized as an intentional homicide, on Monday became the second narcotics squad member to face a murder charge for his role in the raid.

Prosecutors contend the raid should never have been authorized but was approved when another former officer, Gerald Goins, who was charged with murder in August 2019, provided false information to a municipal judge who signed a warrant.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Neil Vigdor