Private forensics team recovers 10 bullets believed to have been fired during Harding Street raid

By Mario Diaz - Reporter

HOUSTON - “It’s astounding the amount of evidence that was left at his scene,” said an attorney representing the family of Rhogena Nicholas.

The evidence Mike Doyle is referring to includes a shirt believed to be tagged with evidence markings by crime scene investigators in the days following the deadly botched raid. However, Doyle and his team claim it was never stored.

“Whoever did the scene documentation marked that as evidence and then just tossed it on the ground,” he said.

Private forensic investigators also have recovered several bullets, with more to be extracted within the next 24 hours, according to Doyle.

“So far they have pulled out 10. They anticipate more because they still have to dig into the walls,” Doyle said.

The bullets were stored in a small evidence locker. The team carefully documented all of the evidence gathering at the home carefully since first arriving at the residence Friday morning.

Michael Maloney, a former senior instructor at the federal law enforcement training center for death investigations and sex crimes, is leading a team of four. It is a taxing effort, according to Doyle, due to what they perceive was also a botched investigation of the crime scene immediately following the raid.

“If you’re going to claim you are going to do a full and complete investigation, you don’t leave a scene with this amount of evidence,” Doyle said.

On Monday, multiple trajectory lines leading into the home were established, with investigators thus far marking a total of 27 shots fired into the home. Doyle also said there is one key takeaway.

“After three days here, and massive amounts of evidence uncovered, there is zero indication of any weapons being fired from the inside to the outside,” he said.

Channel 2 Investigates spoke with Doyle during an interview inside of the home that is now the focal point of investigations being conducted by HPD, the District Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Doyle said the evidence gathered have been vital pieces to the puzzle they are attempting to put together.

“Everything that they are retrieving is vital, particularly when you line it up with the autopsy findings,” he said.

Doyle said the evidence being gathered is producing a different narrative than what has been portrayed publicly.

“I don’t think anybody can really say (at) this point that the story we have heard in any way lines up with the physical evidence uncovered so far at all,” Doyle said.

On Monday evening, Dr. Peter Stout, the Houston Forensic Science Center CEO and president, issued the following statement via email to Channel 2 Investigates:

“Crime scenes are often chaotic. In this scenario, it took hours for the scene to be safe enough for crime scene investigators to enter the area and begin processing. It is one of the reasons systematic and objective processing and investigation is so important. HFSC’s crime scene unit collected hundreds of items of evidence, including casings and blood evidence, took hundreds of photos and hours of video during multiple visits to the crime scene. There is always the risk that some evidence will not be found or that items that seem unimportant today become significant tomorrow. Our goal is to always process scenes objectively and systematically.”

The Houston Police Department refused to comment on the investigation being conducted by the private forensics team. A department spokesman said HPD’s own investigation will be completed in the near future. The department told Channel 2 Investigates on May 2 that their initial deadline had been pushed back from late April to May 15.

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