A Houston man sentenced to 10 months in jail based on the testimony of former HPD narcotics officer Gerald Goines is actually innocent, the second man to be declared so after an investigation into the disgraced officer’s cases, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Steven Mallet, 60, was arrested alongside his brother Otis Mallett in 2008 for an alleged drug sale and charged based on the testimony of Goines, who is currently on trial for murder after a deadly botched drug raid in 2019. While his brother was waiting to go to jail, Steven Mallett pleaded guilty to the crime and was given 10 months in state jail, Ogg said.
A hearing is scheduled Thursday morning to review the case, and the DA's office said it “has agreed with Steven Mallet's defense to find relief based on actual innocence, false evidence, and an involuntary plea.”
“Justice dictates that we continue going through questionable cases and clearing people convicted solely on the word of a police officer we can no longer trust,” read a statement from Ogg. “When the only evidence of criminal culpability is the testimony of an untrustworthy officer, we are going to work as fast as possible to right the situation.”
Otis Mallett was also declared actually innocent by Ogg earlier this month.
Harris County prosecutors charged the former officer with two felony murder charges and tampering with a government document in connection with the Jan. 28, 2019 raid, which killed two civilians and injured several officers. Goines allegedly lied in order to obtain a search warrant for the home at 7815 Harding St., according to prosecutors. Two people, 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas and 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle, were killed in the raid, with their deaths later ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
Former officer Steven Bryant was also charged with tampering with a government document in connection with the raid.
About 14,000 cases initiated by Goines and his team are now under review, Ogg said. That review is stretching back to 2008 now that the Mallet cases have been revisited, she added.
The DAs office has used the workload placed on her staff as part of the Goines investigation in a bid to hire new prosecutors. That request was denied by the Harris County Commissioners Court last year, and again denied by the court Tuesday.
"The sheer number of the cases that could be involved is daunting," Ogg said. "Even though it is challenging, our mandate is to always and continually seek justice."