Gerald Goines: Police officer arrested for murder accused of framing 69 cases

Louise Hall
AP

A disgraced former Houston Police Officer facing murder charges is suspected of having exploited his position to ensure the wrongful conviction of 69 people.

Gerald Goines was dismissed after he led a botched drug raid resulting in the death of a married couple in January 2019, ABC News reported.

Not only is the former officer facing murder charges as a result of the two deaths, but is now facing allegations that he has been framing individuals for more than a decade.

Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg said on Wednesday that a review of cases Mr Goines played a substantial role in, between 2008 and 2019, found 69 people who may have been convicted on false evidence presented by the then police officer, the report said.

Defence attorney Monique Sparks told ABC News she had maintained suspicions against the officer for a long time and alleged that she has received numerous complaints about Mr Goines’ behaviour.

“I would say that at least for 10 years that I know of, he’s kind of been terrorising the community,” Ms Sparks said on Thursday.

”So they would tell me this and I’m like, ‘OK, what you have to do is make a report and they wouldn’t do it.

“We would tell the prosecution ‘this is what this cop did’ and it was just very hard to catch him or for people to want to take it up the chain.”

Gerald Goines in a photo provided by the Houston Police Department (AP)

Ms Sparks alleged defendants were too scared to file official grievances, claiming most of the people Mr Goines targeted were low-income African Americans.

The 69 cases that Ms Ogg has called for a review of are those that rested solely on Mr Goines’ casework, according to Texas newspaper The Houston Chronicle.

The District Attorney filed a motion requesting judges appoint lawyers for the 69 individuals so they can begin the process of possibly having their convictions overturned.

“We need to clear people convicted solely on the word of a police officer whom we can no longer trust,” Ogg said in a statement, according to ABC News.

After Mr Goines’ was relieved of duty, prosecutors dismissed dozens of the cases he had worked on, and the investigation into Mr Goines’ casework has been ongoing.

The Houston Chronicle’s report said Mr Goines’ defence attorney hit out at Ogg’s move to have Mr Goines’ convictions overturned.

“She could care less about these defendants,” Nicole DeBorde told the Chronicle. “They’re absolutely treating this differently [from other post-conviction writ cases], and there’s only one reason — they are hard on their push to get people to the polls because she has some worthy opponents.”

Mr Goines is understood to have been a Houston police officer for 25 years and was wounded in the line of duty three times, including on the night of the drug raid that left three other police drug-team members wounded.

The chief of Houston Police, Art Acevedo, speaking at a February 2019 news conference reported by KTRK, alleged Mr Goines lied in an affidavit that allowed him to carry out a no-knock raid of the couple’s home.

Authorities said Mr Goines is suspected to have falsely written in the sworn document that a confidential informant conducted two drug purchases of black tar heroin at the couple’s residence according to documents filed in Harris County District Court, ABC News said.

One of the former police officers colleagues, Steven Bryant, was also charged with tampering with a government document.

Mr Goines and Mr Bryant have both pleaded not guilty to the state and federal charges filed against them.

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