Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Frederick Jeffery

Summary of Goines Cases in Groups Registry
On October 27, 2016, Houston police officer Gerald Goines arrested 34-year-old Frederick Jeffery after Goines said he saw him standing outside a house on Nettleton Street in Houston, Texas.

Goines claimed that he went to the home after an informant had made purchases of drugs there just days earlier. Goines reported that as he drove up to the house, he saw Jeffery locking burglar bars on the front door. Goines and his partner ordered Jeffery and another man who was on the front porch to get on the ground. Inside, Goines said the house had no appliances, very little furniture and appeared to be a house where narcotics were prepared and sold. Goines said he recovered 4.7 grams of methamphetamine from a table in the living room.

Goines also said that Jeffery said that his cell phone was on the table inside. A cell phone was recovered with the drugs, Goines said.

Jeffery claimed he had been framed, that the drugs had been planted and that he never told Goines that his cell phone was in the house.

Jeffery had previously been exonerated of an earlier drug crime in 2013, after a crime lab test reported that the material found in Jeffery's possession contained no illegal substances.

On April 11, 2018, Jeffery went to trial in Harris County Criminal District Court. Goines testified about the pre-raid drug buys made by the informant as well as the raid that resulted in the seizure of a cell phone and the methamphetamine. A lab analyst testified that the drugs tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 4.7 grams.

On April 12, 2018, a jury convicted Jeffery of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

On January 28, 2019, Goines led a raid on a home belonging to 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and his 58-year-old wife, Rhogena Nicholas. Goines obtained a no-knock warrant after telling a judge that he had set up a controlled purchase of narcotics there using a confidential informant. Goines and other officers smashed open the front door of the home and shot a dog that they said lunged at them, which prompted a gun fight. Tuttle and Nicholas were killed.

On February 21, 2019, the Texas First District Court of Appeals upheld Jeffery’s conviction and sentence.

Meanwhile, the Houston Police Department began investigating Goines. When his informant for the Tuttle raid could not be found, Goines eventually admitted there was no informant. In April 2019, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office dismissed several dozen pending cases involving Goines and his partner, Stephen Bryant, and began reviewing more than 2,200 cases the two officers handled throughout their careers. In August 2019, Goines was charged with felony murder, and Bryant was charged with tampering with a government record after the raid. By then, Goines and Bryant had retired. In November 2019, Goines was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he deprived Tuttle and Nicholas of their civil rights by killing them.

In May 2020, Rachel Scott was allowed to withdraw her guilty plea based on evidence that Goines had framed her on a drug charge. Her case was dismissed on May 4, 2020.

A year later, on May 10, 2021, the drug convictions of brothers Steven Mallet and Otis Mallet Jr., which had been vacated by agreement of the prosecution, were dismissed.

In July 2022, Criminal District Court Judge Stacy M. Allen recommended that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacate Jeffery's conviction, saying it resulted from "a pattern of deceit involving fictional drug buys, perjured search warrant affidavits, and false testimony to a jury."

During the re-investigation of Jeffery’s case, an investigator with the Harris County district attorney's office examined the cell phone that Goines said belonged to Jeffery. Judge Allen said the investigator discovered that the phone number assigned to the device belonged to a woman who had no connection to Jeffery.

In a search warrant affidavit that Goines filed on October 25, 2016, two days before he arrested Jeffery, Goines swore that a confidential informant had bought marijuana two days earlier from "a black male" who was about 30 years old and "known by the street name of ‘B’" inside a house on Nettleton Street. It was based on that affidavit that Goines conducted the raid and arrested Jeffery.

The informant was the same woman who Goines claimed had bought black-tar heroin at 7815 Harding Street—the site of the fatal raid during which Tuttle and Nicholas were killed.

After Goines was charged with murder in connection with the Harding Street raid, the informant had been interviewed and said she had not made any purchase on Nettleton Street. She told investigators she and Goines had been falsifying affidavits for about four years. Judge Allen noted that the informant “would get paid for some buys she did not actually make."

Judge Allen noted that Jeffery said Goines had lied when he said that Jeffery reported that his cell phone was inside the house. “The conversation was not recorded and no other officers heard it," Allen said.

Goines had failed to mention that alleged conversation in his report of the raid. He first mentioned it at Jeffery's trial.

On September 7, 2022, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacated Jeffery’s conviction and ordered a new trial. The appeals court said, “Based on the record, the trial court has determined that Goines conducted fictional drug buys, provided false information in the affidavit for the search warrant, and testified falsely at [Jeffery’s] trial that [Jeffery] had admitted ownership of a cell phone found in close proximity to the drugs in this case.”

The appeals court said, “The trial court finds that the false evidence and testimony provided by Gerald Goines was material, in that there is a reasonable likelihood that the false evidence and testimony affected the judgment of the jury. We agree.”

Jeffery was released from prison that day. On November 17, 2022, the prosecution dismissed the case.

Jeffery filed a federal civil-right lawsuit against Goines and the City of Houston in April 2023.

– Maurice Possley

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date: 12/19/2022
Last Updated: 6/13/2023
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2016
Sentence:25 years
Age at the date of reported crime:34
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No