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Lisa Brown

Summary of Goines Cases in Groups Registry
On May 26, 2011, Officer Gerald Goines of the Houston Police Department in Texas arrested 47-year-old Lisa Brown and charged her with delivery of a controlled substance. In court papers, Goines said that Brown provided him with less than an ounce of hydrocodone.

While in jail, Brown wrote a letter to the court, proclaiming her innocence. “Your honor, they are falsely accusing me for something I did not do,” she wrote in a letter mailed on August 26, 2011. “The police claim someone pointed me out. There is no video or audiotape.”

A few days later, on September 1, Brown pled guilty to the charge and received a sentence of seven months in state jail.

More than seven years later, 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 Brown, who might have been convicted on false evidence presented by Goines.

Brown, represented by Brittany Lacayo, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on November 23, 2021. The petition said that Goines had claimed in court papers that he had given Brown $20 to buy some hydrocodone for him. According to Goines, Brown returned with five tablets and asked Goines for a little extra for her troubles. He said that he gave her $5.

“Although Goines claimed he gave her five dollars, five dollars was not discovered on [Brown] upon her arrest,” the petition said. “The new evidence that he claimed to have paid her five dollars but five dollars was not recovered on her arrest was not revealed to [Brown] prior to her entering a guilty plea.”

As part of the fact-finding on the habeas petition, a district court judge ordered Goines to file a responsive affidavit to questions regarding Brown’s arrest. In his answer, Goines invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

On January 8, 2023, Judge Stacey Allen of Harris County District Court recommended that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals grant Brown’s habeas petition based on actual innocence and Goines’s actions in other wrongful convictions.

“The evidence developed post-conviction reveals a pattern of deceit involving fictional drug buys, perjured search warrant affidavits, and false testimony,” Judge Allen wrote. “Confidence in the criminal justice system cannot tolerate such behavior.”

On May 3, 2023, the appellate court granted Brown’s writ, based on false evidence and an involuntary plea, and not actual innocence. The state dismissed the charge on June 6, 2023.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 9/8/2023
Last Updated: 9/8/2023
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2011
Sentence:7 months
Age at the date of reported crime:47
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No