Newly-unsealed warrants focus on officers' location before deadly botched raid

5 search warrants unsealed, focusing on cellphone information

By Debbie Strauss - Special Projects Producer, Mario Diaz - Reporter, Cathy Tatom - Investigative Producer

HOUSTON - New details were released Wednesday regarding a botched raid in southeast Houston where four police officers were injured and two homeowners were killed.

Officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant, who are under investigation, are accused of foul play leading up to the raid at 7815 Harding Street in late January.

Five new search warrants were unsealed in Harris County Wednesday.

The search warrants were filed by an officer assigned to the Houston Police Department's Special Investigations Unit/Homicide division, looking into any wrongdoing.

The warrants show Houston police are looking for telephone records that would show Goines and Bryant communicated on their personal cellphones and multiple times.

According to the warrant, "Affiant is aware based on training and experience that when individuals commit an offense together, they will communicate before and/or after the offense via their cellular device... Affiant believes there is evidence of the offense of tampering with a government document contained on the personal cellphone belonging to Steven Bryant."

The additional warrants indicate that Houston police want to know whether the confidential informant No. 1, or Goines or Bryant were ever at the Harding Street address prior to January 28 as indicated in a sworn affidavit.

Goines is accused of lying on the affidavit used to get a no-knock warrant that led to the raid, which ended with the four officers shot and the deaths of Dennis Tuttle, Rhogena Nicholas and their dog.

The original affidavit, claimed Goines had been working with a confidential informant for at least two weeks prior to the raid. The original warrant indicated Goines witnessed the confidential informant buy drugs at 7815 Harding Street one day prior to the deadly raid. 

These latest unsealed documents indicate special investigations officers are looking into whether Bryant or Goines tampered with a government document.

Both Goines and Bryant were relieved of duty during the investigation. Since then, both officers have filed for retirement.

In recent weeks, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said to Channel 2 Investigates that the investigation into the raid will be completed and turned over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office by mid-to-late April. This is separate from a Department of Justice Investigation being conducted by the FBI.

 

 

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