HOUSTON – A man charged with possession of controlled substance has been reversed due to findings of perjury and false evidence that was presented by former Houston Police Department Officer Gerald Goines, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said.
Goines, who is tied to a deadly botched home invasion that left a couple dead, was arrested and charged for his role in the incident in 2019. Goines faces two counts of murder in Rhogena Nicholas’ and Dennis Tuttle’s deaths. Several other HPD officers are accused of falsifying documents about drug payments to informants in the deadly Harding Street raid case.
Frederick Jeffery is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for possession of a controlled substance, according to the DA. Jeffery was convicted in 2018 based on almost exclusively on Goines’ testimony.
Prosecutors agreed Thursday that Jeffery is entitled to a bond while the Court of Criminal Appeals reviews the new evidence.
“Frederick Jeffery’s case is a due process disaster,” said Kim Ogg, Harris County district attorney. “In the wake of Harding Street, it is clear that Gerald Goines and other members of the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division engaged in a years-long scheme involving fictional drug buys, perjured warrants and phony overtime. Individuals like Frederick Jeffery were collateral damage.”
According to the DA, Goines’ case is pending. He also faces federal charges for violating the civil rights of Tuttle and Nicholas.
In Jeffery’s case, prosecutors said that new evidence supports the conclusion that Goines lied in his affidavit supporting the warrant to search a house in the 2800 block of Nettleton Street. A controlled buy used as the basis to obtain a search warrant was fictional. The State also now believes Goines lied at trial about a statement Jeffery purportedly made regarding ownership of a cell phone linking him to the narcotics found in the home.
Both of Goines’ false statements were made under oath, the DA said. Goines invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in Jeffery’s post-conviction proceeding.
In the wake of the Harding Street murders, the DA’s Office notified hundreds of individuals convicted on Goines’ testimony that their convictions may have been compromised by similar misconduct. Jeffery was one of those notified.
Friday night, Jeffery’s mother, Tina Baldwin, saw her son, walk out of the Harris County jail. They embraced.
“Awesome. [It’s] a blessing. Thank God. Thank God,” Baldwin said hugging Jeffery.
Jeffery said there were times he felt like he lost hope but relied on prayer circles and his family for comfort and encouragement.
“It was a struggle. Some days I did feel like that some days I broke down and cried,” Jeffery said.
Now, the two are all smiles.
“We’re going to get something to eat!” Baldwin said.
Jeffery is out on a PR bond. Prosecutors said the the Court of Criminal Appeals must affirm the judge’s recommendation to dismiss the case before it is official dismissed. However, the family is has faith there should be no issues.
“We have to wait for the Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the judge’s recommendation that his conviction be overturned,” Prosecutor Josh Reiss said. “During that time, he’s still technically in custody but he’s not incarcerated. And, if the Court of Criminal Appeals agrees that his conviction never should have happened, his conviction will be overturned and the state of Texas will officially dismiss his case.”
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