HOUSTON – A judge said Monday that she will recommend that a man convicted 11 years ago based on the testimony of ex-Houston Police officer Gerald Goines, should be exonerated.
Otis Mallet Jr. was sent to prison in 2011 on a drug conviction. Disgraced ex-officer Goines, who is now accused in the botched 2019 Harding Street drug raid, gave testimony that resulted in Mallet’s conviction.
Judge Ramona Franklin’s decision came after hearing evidence that Goines gave false testimony during Mallet’s trial. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg joined with Mallet’s defense team to ask the judge to declare Mallet innocent.
A joint report concluded that Goines lied during Mallet’s trial when he claimed that he paid Mallet and his brother $200 for crack cocaine, leading to charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled
Ogg also contends Goines withheld information that could have aided Mallet’s defense during the 2011 trial
“We know that former HPD officer Gerald Goines was lying about drug busts and that this individual Otis Mallet was framed as early as 2008,” Ogg said on Monday. “It’s clear that Mr. Mallet was wrongfully convicted and that we agree with the defense that’s he’s actually innocent.”
The evidence of corruption by Goines goes back more than a decade before he now faces murder and federal civil rights violations charges as the architect of the 2019 Harding Street drug raid, which left two homeowners, Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, dead.
Goines was called to testify in a hearing on the Mallet case last Jan. 9, but refused, citing his Fifth Amendment Rights
Mallet served two years of his eight year sentence. Still currently on parole, he’s been fighting to clear his name since his release.
Judge Franklin agreed with the DA and defense attorneys and said she will recommend to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Mallet be declared “actually innocent.” The appeals court is the only body under state law that can make that determination.
Mallet’s pastor, L.J. Comeaux, of the Fiesta Missionary Baptist Church, said it has been an excruciating ordeal for Mallet and his family.
“He always had faith that God would overcome the situation. But he also is human. He was down sometimes. He needed prayer sometimes just like anybody else,” Comeaux said.
The Mallet case is one of 14,000 cases worked by Goines that are currently under review by the DA’s office. Several pending cases have already been dropped.
Attempts to reach Goines’ attorney for comment were unsuccessful as of Monday.