Criminal Justice

Murder Charge Dismissed Against Former HPD Officer Linked To Deadly Harding Street Raid

Felipe Gallegos remains charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, along with 9 former members of HPD narcotics squad 15.

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Former HPD officer Felipe Gallegos with attorney Rusty Hardin on Jan. 26, 2021. Gallegos was charged with murder after the botched 2019 Harding Street raid.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that a murder charge has been dismissed against former Houston Police Officer Felipe Gallegos, who was previously charged with felony murder in the aftermath of the 2019 Harding Street raid.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the DA’s office said the dismissal was the result of misconduct from a former prosecutor who had handled the case. The prosecutor’s behavior “raised concerns about his judgment and resulted in his termination from the office.”

“Out of duty and an abundance of caution, all evidence in the shooting will be re-reviewed,” the statement read.

The evidence will now be presented to a new grand jury in order to determine whether the original felony murder indictment was warranted.

TIMELINE | A Botched Houston Police Raid And Its Consequences

Gallegos joined members of narcotics squad 15 and executed a no-knock search warrant on the home of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas in January 2019. According to police, the couple fired at officers as they entered the home. The raid left the couple dead, while wounding multiple officers — including former officer Gerald Goines, who had led the raid.

It was later revealed that Goines had fabricated a story about a confidential informant purchasing heroin from the couple’s home in order to obtain the warrant, according to prosecutors.

Gallegos was originally charged with the murder of Dennis Tuttle earlier this year, joining former HPD officer Gerald Goines, who was hit with the same charge for the deaths of both Tuttle and Nicholas last year.

The two men received additional indictments in June for their alleged role in a long-running overtime theft scheme — joining nine other former officers facing the same charge, along with other related offenses.

Gallegos remains charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.