'Any detective with 1 year experience knows' there's evidence to convict Alfred Brown, HPOU says
HOUSTON – After Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the results of a special prosecutor's review of Alfred Brown's case Friday, the Houston Police Officers' Union fired back.
Union President Joe Gamaldi and former president Ray Hunt countered claims made by Ogg -- as well as by the special prosecutor, John Raley, of the Houston-based firm Raley & Bowick.
Brown, a former death row inmate whose capital murder charge was dismissed and who was freed from prison in 2015, was declared innocent by Ogg and her office Friday.
In a case prosecuted by Dan Rizzo in 2005, a jury convicted Brown of capital murder in the 2003 shooting deaths of Houston police officer Charles Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones. Brown was freed after the state's highest criminal court ruled his rights were violated by prosecutors who failed to show phone records supporting his alibi.
Gamaldi said that the phone records that freed Brown were never a pillar of his defense in the trial.
Ogg "should be embarrassed and ashamed at how incompetently this matter is being handled while these families continue to suffer," Gamaldi said Friday. Ogg sprung the press conference on the police union and the victims' families, Gamaldi said, leaving some family members unable to attend the police union's press conference.
Ogg announced the 11 a.m. press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
"DA Ogg, you're the district attorney of Harris County. It's about time you start acting like it," he said.
Ray Hunt, former president of the police union, questioned Raley and his investigation. Raley said in the press conference, deeming Brown innocent, that he had worked with homicide investigators in his review of the case.
Hunt said that that may be true, but said that no active or retired homicide detective believes Brown is innocent. Hunt said Brown never told the grand jury nor trial jury that he was ever at the scene of the crime and then refused to testify when his trial was underway.
Given the seriousness of the charges leveled against Brown, Hunt expressed concern for Brown's reasons for refusing to say he was never at the scene.
"If you weren't there and you had a chance to put a needle in your arm for killing a police officer, come on, folks. This is ridiculous. Anybody with common sense, any detective with one year experience knows that there's evidence out there to convict this person," Hunt said of Brown.
"She hired (Raley) for one reason, and one reason only. And that was to find Alfred Brown actually innocent," Hunt said.
The police department said it would review Raley's report and determine if it will present the capital murder case to a grand jury.
Police Chief Art Acevedo released a statement shortly after HOPU's press conference:
"The Houston Police Department has not had an opportunity to review the special prosecutor's report related to the capital murder of Ms. Alfredia Jones and Officer Charlie Clark.
"It is my understanding that while the District Attorney and the special prosecutor have declared innocence, a proper court of jurisdiction has not yet made that determination.
"Our department will analyze the report once we receive a copy and made a determination as to the appropriateness of presenting the capital murder case to a grand jury upon the conclusion of our review."
This case needs to be presented to grand jury once again. Review by John Raley ( a patent attorney) was a farce designed to give DA Ogg the result she wanted, to appease those she made promises to while campaigning. Families of Alfredia Jones/HPD Off Charles Clark deserve justice https://t.co/guQWl2BNLP
This case needs to be presented to grand jury once again. Review by John Raley ( a patent attorney) was a farce designed to give DA Ogg the result she wanted, to appease those she made promises to while campaigning. Families of Alfredia Jones/HPD Off Charles Clark deserve justice https://t.co/guQWl2BNLPmdash; Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) March 1, 2019
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