In January of 2019, a botched Houston drug raid led to the death of both homeowners and the injury of five officers in a chaotic shootout. Now, the officer that procured the warrant under suspicious circumstances faces felony murder charges.
Gerald Goines, the former Houston police officer that obtained the warrant that led to the raid, faces felony murder charges. He is currently free on $300,000 bond after pleading not guilty.
The Charges and Their Consequences
Goines was charged with murder under Texas's felony murder rule. According to Texas Penal Code § 19.02(b)(3), a person can be charged with murder if he:
commits or attempts to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempt, or in immediate flight from the commission or attempt, he commits or attempts to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.
According to prosecutors, Goines committed a felony by tampering with a warrant application. By lying about the existence of a confidential informant, prosecutors allege Goines created a dangerous situation that led to the death of both homeowners. Goines' former partner was also charged with tampering with a government record after allegedly providing false information after the shooting occurred.
The Timeline of the Shooting
On the afternoon of January 28, 2019, undercover officers raided a home in the Pecan Park area of Southeast Houston. According to the no-knock warrant, the owners of the home operated a drug house and sold heroin at the residence.
According to the police report, the first officer breached the door, where he was attacked by a pitbull. The officer shot and killed the dog, which led the homeowner to open fire on the undercover officers. In the shootout that followed, both homeowners were killed. Five officers suffered non-fatal wounds, although many of the wounds were serious.
While Houston PD initially blamed the homeowners as the instigators of the shooting, questions arose after the search warrant for the raid was released to the public. Family members of the homeowners claimed the two were not drug dealers and challenged the account in the warrant application. The application alleged that a confidential informant told Houston PD that heroin and handguns were present in the home. While small amounts of marijuana and cocaine were discovered, the raid failed to turn up handguns or heroin.
On February 15, the public was informed that Goines is accused of falsifying the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant. According to the internal affairs investigation, Goines lied about the confidential informant claim that heroin had been sold out of the house. It's unbelievable that two people would be killed due to lies by a police officer.
A Vigorous Houston, TX Drug Defense
The allegations facing Goines are serious. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. When the stakes are this high, it is important for anyone accused of a crime to discuss their options with a Board Certified expert in criminal law. To learn more about the benefits of hiring a seasoned Houston criminal defense attorney, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.