Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Tony Vaughn, Jr.

Summary of Goines Cases in Groups Registry
On October 15, 2018, Officer Gerald Goines of the Houston Police Department in Texas arrested 50-year-old Tony Vaughn Jr. and charged him with delivery of a controlled substance. Goines said in court papers that Vaughn had sold him less than one gram of cocaine.

Vaughn pled guilty to the charge in Harris County Criminal District Court on November 19, 2018, and received a sentence of 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 of cases between 2008 and 2019, where Goines played a substantial role, found 69 people, including Vaughn, who might have been convicted on false evidence presented by Goines.

Vaughn filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, contending that he would not have pled guilty if he knew about Goines’s history of misconduct.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Vaughn’s writ on January 11, 2023. The state dismissed the charge on February 28, 2023.

– Ken Otterbourg

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date: 5/1/2023
Last Updated: 5/1/2023
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2018
Sentence:180 days
Age at the date of reported crime:50
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No