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Aaron Mathews

Summary of Goines Cases in Groups Registry
On June 26, 2013, Officer Gerald Goines of the Houston Police Department in Texas arrested 25-year-old Aaron Mathews and charged him with delivery of a controlled substance. In court papers, Goines said that Mathews had sold him less than a gram of cocaine.

Mathews pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court on August 16, 2013, and was ordered to serve 180 days in the county jail.

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 buy of narcotics there using a confidential informant. Goines, his partner, Steven Bryant, and other officers broke down 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.

The Houston Police Department opened an investigation. When Goines’s informant could not be found, Goines eventually admitted there wasn’t an informant.

In April 2019, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office dismissed several dozen pending cases involving Goines and 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.

Goines was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2019 on charges that he deprived Tuttle and Nicholas of their civil rights by killing them.

In February 2020, Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg said that a review by her office’s conviction-integrity unit (CIU) of cases Goines played a substantial role in between 2008 and 2019, found 69 people, including Mathews, who might have been convicted on false evidence presented by Goines.

Mathews, represented by the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on June 12, 2020. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office agreed that the petition should be granted, and the two parties submitted a joint recommendation to a judge in Harris County. The judge accepted the recommendation and referred the matter to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

In his petition, Mathews claimed that Goines’s misconduct had stretched over many years, including playing a role in the wrongful convictions of Steven Mallet in 2009 and his brother, Otis Mallet, in 2011. Mathews claimed that if he had known about this misconduct, he would not have entered a guilty plea.

The appellate court granted Mathews’s writ on January 26, 2022, writing, “It is true that, as of the date that Applicant pled guilty, in 2013, Goines had not yet committed the alleged falsehood that led to the fatal 2019 drug raid. But even if Applicant knew only of Goines’s misconduct that led to the prosecutions of the Mallet brothers, it is reasonable to expect that he would have risked the extra eighteen months’ incarceration and insisted on going to trial—on the chance that he might not have been convicted at all.”

The state dismissed Mathew’s charge on February 23, 2023.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 5/1/2023
Last Updated: 5/1/2023
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2013
Sentence:180 days
Age at the date of reported crime:25
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No