HOUSTON - A second man sentenced to jail for testimony provided by former Houston Police officer Gerald Goines has been declared innocent.
On Wednesday, a judge recommended to throw out a nearly decade-old drug conviction for 60-year-old Steven Mallet.
Steven is now the fourth person declared innocent by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg and the second person tied to Goines. The first was Steven’s brother, Otis Mallet, who was declared innocent earlier this month.
Steven had few words to say as he walked out of the courtroom.
“It's been a lot of wear and tear on us. Very glad this is over with it, that's all,” Mallet said.
When asked what Steven thought of Goines, he responded, “Never met the man.”
Steven served 10 months in jail for that alleged 2008 drug deal that also sent his brother, Otis Mallet to jail.
While Otis maintained his innocence the entire time, Steven eventually pleaded guilty to a crime he says he didn't commit.
Harris County Assistant Public Defender Bob Wicoff was assigned to represent Mallet.
“I think there's an increasing awareness that people sometimes plead guilty because they need to get out,” Wicoff said.
Prosecutors say former Houston Police narcotics officer Gerald Goines was the sole testimony claim for both the Mallet brothers cases.
“If someone files a claim of relief that Gerald Goines played a substantial role in that conviction, we are going to assume he lied,” said Harris County Assistant District Attorney, Josh Reiss.
Since the botched narcotics raid on Harding Street January 2019, Ogg initiated a review of 14,000 cases that Goines and his squad worked over the last five years.
The Mallet brothers cases have now expanded that review to hundreds more of Goines’ cases tracing back to 2008, where he was the only witness claim.
“Between 2008 and the present time, Mr. Reiss has uncovered 441 cases that were independently handled by Gerald Goines. They resulted in 263 convictions by 234 individual defendants,” Ogg said.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will have to make these innocence declarations official.
Goines pleaded the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination. His attorney, Nicole DeBorde responded to the DA’s decision saying,
“Continuing to make statements publicly while the case is pending in the same community where this case may be tried is irresponsible and seems designed to sway the opinions of potential jurors before the facts are available in the courtroom and that is irresponsible.”