HOUSTON – Since the charges against him were dismissed, Andre Jackson had been asking the court to order Houston police to return the personal items officers seized the first time he was arrested.
Court records show a judge granted that motion earlier this year. Houston police, however, refused to comply, stating that, since Jackson was still a suspect in Josue Flores’ murder, many of the items seized were needed as part of the ongoing investigation.
Flores was stabbed to death while walking home from school in 2016.
Investigators said the 11-year-old was stabbed more than 20 times, but they still are not sure why.
Jackson, a former Marine, was arrested and was released in July 2017. He was released after investigators said DNA evidence made it impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is responsible for the crime.
A staff attorney for the Houston Police Department asked the judge to reconsider handing the evidence over to Jackson.
Here is HPD’s legal filing:
This point also brought criticism from the president of the Houston Police Officers' Union, Joe Gamaldi, regarding Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Here is his statement on the matter:
Houston Police Department officials said, with the help of the FBI, evidence gathered the first time Jackson was arrested was rested at a Florida lab that utilizes more advanced DNA testing techniques that were not readily available in 2016.
DA's Office statement
Ogg’s office fired back at the Police Officers' Union.
This is a statement from Dane Schiller, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office:
“The evidence relied upon for further testing had already been preserved. Officer Gamaldi has never been part of this investigation and it is irresponsible and inappropriate for a labor representative to speculate about evidence in an ongoing prosecution – especially one when he does not have first-hand information as to what is actually taking place. He is yet again exploiting the emotions of crime victims and misleading the public to draw attention to himself.”