Couple's family demands answers after deadly botched Harding Street raid

By Mario Diaz - Reporter

HOUSTON - Channel 2 Investigates is demanding answers and access into the botched Harding Street raid.

The family of the couple that was killed during the Jan. 28 raid still have many questions for investigators.

KPRC investigator Mario Diaz was the first reporter in the home on Tuesday. Since he stepped inside, family members of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas have asked many questions. Most of their questions have focused on what happened the day of the deadly shootout.

They also have questions about records they said they haven't yet seen.

"It points to somebody made a bad mistake. Somebody needs to pay. We need the answers," Cliff Tuttle said.

Tuttle and his family want answers. The uncle of Dennis Tuttle was in disbelief on Tuesday.

"Look at that. A man 5 feet, 6 inches (tall). What are they shooting at? He's not on a chair. He's standing. He's probably about this tall. Who are they shooting at and why?" Tuttle asked.

Channel 2 Investigates was with Cliff Tuttle inside of 7815 Harding St. the first time family members and their attorneys were allowed inside since the deadly botched raid. They went in search of answers. Tuttle said they are not getting any answers from the Houston Police Department.

"When we can't find out anything, what can we do?" Tuttle asked.

The families have been attempting to obtain autopsy reports. They, along with their attorneys, went to the probate court within the past 24 hours to expedite the process. They want the reports turned over, they claim, to help tell the real story.

"Then we can say this is what happened to Dennis. This is what happened Regi. These are the bullets that did that. Who else was hit with those bullets," Tuttle said.

Any ballistic reports are part of HPD's investigation. They have not been made public. Tuttle said the families would like more transparency.

The family of Rhogena Nicholas sent a letter to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences requesting for the "protected health information" of Nicholas. The request is being made under federal law applicable to the individual in the letter, Dr. Luis Sanchez, Executive Director and Chief Medical Examiner, as well as to Harris County Institute of Forensic Services.

"Violations of HIPPA, including intentionally withholding 'protected health information' from a patient or authorized patient representative are investigated by HHS," Attorney Michael Doyle said.

Doyle said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is empowered by federal law and "deliberate delay or denial of such requests by individuals responsible for compliance" may result in civil and criminal penalties.

All parties involved in the request for autopsy reports hope to receive the information within a month of today's request.

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