HOUSTON – A murder charge has been dismissed against a Houston police officer who was charged in the deadly botched raid on Harding Street, the Harris County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said the charge was dismissed due to a former prosecutor’s conduct, stating that the prosecutor “raised concerns about this judgment” while working the case.
The DA’s Office has not identified the prosecutor that has since been terminated.
The murder charge against former HPD Officer Felipe Gallegos will be reconsidered after all of the evidence is reviewed again by a different prosecutor and presented to a judge. Gallegos is still charged with engaging in organized criminal activity in connection to the raid that left Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle dead.
According to Gallegos’ attorney, Rusty Hardin, his client had no words to the latest development but was in disbelief.
Hardin who told KPRC 2 Investigates the following:
“I am absolutely delighted that Flip’s case was dismissed. From the very beginning, we have complained the indicting grand jury did not hear all the evidence, if this is done fairly there is no way a grand jury will indict. This man was a hero. I think this is the beginning of the death nail of these charges. I am confident when this is all over Flip will be vindicated in every respect.”
Former HPD Officer Gerald Goines remains charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, multiple instances of tampering with a government record, theft by a public servant, and two murder charges for the deaths of Nicholas and Tuttle.
“People’s lives hang in the balance of every decision that we make, and it is incumbent upon me as District Attorney to have this situation re-reviewed to ensure justice in this case, as in every case,” Ogg said.
The Houston Police Department released the following statement:
“I respect the DA. I’m just hoping that everybody in this Tuttle case gets a fair shake and justice is served for everybody.”
The Houston Police Union released the following statement:
“We believe that the charge of Murder was an overreach by the Grand Jury from the start. We are glad that ADA Ogg has dropped these murder charges.”