HOUSTON – The family of the victims involved in the 2019 deadly botch raid on Harding Street was slated to receive key evidence from the city of Houston after a judge’s ruling, according to Mike Doyle, the attorney for the family of Rhogena Nicholas.
“The fact that they are still covering this up and spending so much time and effort I think it should be astounding and discouraging to anybody in this city,” Doyle said.
The family was involved once again in federal court proceedings on Monday attempting to get key evidence turned over to them by the end of the month. The family of Rhogena Nicholas focused on holding the city of Houston and the Houston Police Department accountable, but they were back before a federal judge after the Harris County District Attorney’s office intervened in the civil suit.
The DA’s Office is against the families being provided immediate access to information and evidence.
“We now have a situation where the District Attorney’s Office is trying to block the family and the public for that matter from getting answers to what really happened at the scene before, after, and during,” Doyle said.
While the families have a ruling in their favor, District Attorney Kim Ogg said she disagrees with the families having access to the evidence immediately.
“This was our motion to push their discovery to a slight delay because we think it could compromise our ability to give them a fair trial, to give these officers a fair trial, in criminal court,” Ogg said.
The desire to push the release of the information back until after a fair trial is more than a slight delay, according to Doyle, who feels the families may not have any access to real answers as to how their loved ones were killed for years.
He told KPRC 2 Investigates that the move by the DA’s Office to get involved in the civil lawsuit is a first for the office itself as well as the judge involved in the hearing.
“As far as he knew and as far as the lawyer for the district attorney acknowledged, they’ve never ever done it in any case before this one,” Doyle said.
The federal judge during Monday’s hearing did request for the report from the Houston Forensic Science Center. The judge’s request marks the first time someone other than the DA’s Office, HPD or the Houston Forensic Science Center will see the facts surrounding the evidence as well as what the center did and didn’t do with it.
Two years ago, a private forensic investigator uncovered significant key evidence at the scene of the deadly botched raid months after Rhogena Nicholas and her husband Dennis Tuttle were killed by HPD officers from a warrant built on false allegations.