A couple was killed by police after their ‘vindictive’ neighbor called police and falsely accused the couple of being dangerous drug dealers, prosecutors said.
Patricia Garcia, 52, was charged with falsifying information on Wednesday after she allegedly told police in Houston, Texas that her neighbors, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59, were drug dealers armed with machine guns.
Garcia’s call to police on January 8 set into motion a botched police raid that saw Nicholas and Tuttle killed, four officers shot, and one officer paralyzed on February 7.
Prosecutors say Garcia called 911 and claimed her 25-year-old daughter was inside the couples home and doing drugs – but authorities and the Garcia’s ex-husband say none of it was true. An investigation later found that the couple only had small recreational amounts of marijuana and cocaine.
Ray Garcia told ABC 13 that Patricia could be ‘vindictive’ and said she cut him out of family photos when the separated. He also said his daughter had been with him when Patricia called police.
‘She (their daughter) was with me when all that happened and she got called to court down there and all that, saying they said my ex-wife had said her daughter was there or something, but she wasn’t even there,’ Garcia said.
Prosecutors say Garcia’s lies were not the only fabrications that led to the death of Nicholas and Tuttle – two police officers have been charged as well.
The FBI arrested Houston officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant in the wake of the raid. They were indicted alongside Garcia on Wednesday. Goines is charged with felony murder. Bryant faces state and federal charges for falsifying records.
Goines, 55, is accused of falsifying an informant’s statement that the couple was selling heroin. He is charged with lying on a search warrant affidavit, an offense report and the tactical plan that led to the death of Tuttle and Nicholas. He is also accused of violating the couples civil rights.
Bryant is charged with falsifying records when he allegedly lied on a offense report and claimed he helped Goines buy heroin at the home. He was released after his court appearance on a $50,000 bond.
Prosecutors have since announced they are reviewing more than 14,000 cases previously handles by Goines, Bryant and their squad in response to claims of corruption.
This is not the first incident in which Goines was accused of misusing his power as a law enforcement officer. A man arrested by Goines on drug charges claimed in March that Goines fabricated evidence and ‘terrorized his neighborhood.’Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged with corruption
Goines was also the center of a deadly road rage case in 1997 when he shot Reginald Dorsey dead while both men drove on the Southwest Freeway. The incident was first believed to be a narcotics bust, but was later found to be a road rage incident. Goines was never charged.
Dorsey’s sister, Rhonda Dorsey Williams, said: ‘We knew from the beginning it was a lie. He murdered my brother,’ adding that Goines’ past may be catching up to him.