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Christopher Flowers

Summary of Goines Cases in Groups Registry
On September 19, 2012, Officer Gerald Goines of the Houston Police Department in Texas arrested 29-year-old Christopher Flowers and charged him with delivery of a controlled substance. In court papers, Goines said that Flowers had sold him less than a gram of cocaine.

Flowers pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court on May 16, 2013, and was ordered to serve 90 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 in which Goines played a substantial role between 2008 and 2019, found 69 people, including Flowers, who might have been convicted on false evidence presented by Goines. The review was conducted by the district attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit.

Flowers, represented by the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on November 1, 2022.

In his petition, Flowers said that a police officer stopped him and his brother after they had just gotten off the bus. “After running our names, he said someone had seen someone dressed in similar clothes doing something,” Flowers said. After Flowers was arrested, a uniformed officer said an undercover officer picked him out. Police searched him but did not find any drugs or paraphernalia, just $2,700 in cash that Flowers said he was using for the first month’s rent on an apartment.

In his petition, Flowers said that he would not have pled guilty if he had known of Goines’s misconduct in other cases and the claims of wrongful arrests made against him by other defendants.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office agreed that Flowers’s petition should be granted, although on the basis that Flowers was denied due process by the use of false evidence and entering an involuntary plea, rather than actual innocence.

A judge in Harris County recommended that Flowers’s writ be granted and referred the case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on April 19, 2023.

The appellate court granted the writ on June 7, 2023, accepting the trial court’s findings and the state’s concession that Flowers’s plea was involuntary and that he had been denied due process.

The state dismissed Flowers’s charge on July 7, 2023.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 7/21/2023
Last Updated: 7/21/2023
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2012
Sentence:90 days
Age at the date of reported crime:29
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No