HOUSTON – It’s been over three years since Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicolas were gunned down inside their home by HPD officers in a deadly botched raid on Houston’s southeast side that left officers injured.
The case along Harding Street produced a massive investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where thousands of previous cases were examined. Charges eventually were brought against several officers for their alleged conduct in the deadly raid and other narcotics investigations.
One of those officers, former HPD Lt. Robert Gonzalez, saw his case dropped by the Harris County DA’s office, according to court records obtained by KPRC 2 Investigates.
Prosecutors filed the motion to dismiss the felony charge of “Misapplication of Fiduciary/Financial Property” Thursday afternoon.
When initially charging Gonzalez in July of 2020, DA Kim Ogg said Gonzalez was “reckless” in the way he handled HPD dollars.
His defense attorneys, Paula Goodhart and Peyton Peebles, say the charge focused on Gonzalez allegedly not following department policy in payouts to informants.
However, this is no longer the case, according to the filing by prosecutors.
The DA’s office said it is considering “enhanced charges,” but provided no further comment.
Goodhart spoke with KPRC 2 Investigator Mario Diaz following the dismissal: “We are glad the DA’s office realized that justice would not be served by continuing to go to trial on these weak allegations. We have maintained from the beginning that this was an unwarranted political maneuver by DA Kim OGG,” said Goodhart.
Goodhart said Gonzales retired after serving “honorably” with HPD for over 35 years.
Thursday’s dismissal comes six months after HPD officer Felipe Gallegos saw his murder charge dismissed.
At the time of that dismissal, DA Ogg stated: “Out of duty and abundance of caution, all evidence in the shooting will be re-reviewed by a different prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division and re-presented to a grand jury.”
Rusty Hardin, defense for Gallegos, tells KPRC 2 Investigates he has not heard anything from the DA’s office regarding his client’s case.