Houston, TX – Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has paved the way for a man formerly convicted of murdering a Houston police officer to potentially receive a multimillion-dollar settlement from the city, according to the police union.
Alfred Dewayne Brown served over 10 years behind bars for the 2003 execution of Houston Police Officer Charles Clark, who was killed during a botched robbery attempt at a check cashing business, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Brown’s accomplice, Elijah Joubert, also fatally shot store clerk Alfredia Jones during the altercation, police said.
Brown and Jones were both sentenced to death row, while a third accomplice, Dashan Glaspie, was given a 30-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Brown’s conviction in 2014, after a Houston police officer located phone records that Brown’s attorneys claimed supported Brown’s alibi for the night of the murder, Houston Public Media reported.
Brown’s attorneys argued that the call showed that Brown was at his girlfriend’s apartment at the time of the murders – a claim that Harris County attorneys and the HPOU disputed.
They said that because the call was a three-way call, Brown could easily have been at the murder scene.
"Alfred Brown bluffed his way out of prison by telling the 351st Judicial District of Texas that a phone record proved he was at his girlfriend's apartment only minutes after the double murder of Alfredia Jones and Houston Police Officer Charles Clark," the county attorneys wrote, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"Both the District Attorney's Office and the Court accepted this misrepresentation, but an accurate review of these records disproves Brown's story and calls into doubt everything he has said for the last half decade,” the attorneys added.
Former Harris County prosecutor Dan Rizzo, who handled Brown’s case, was also criticized for not having provided the phone records to Brown’s defense team.
In 2018, Ogg announced that she had hired special prosecutor John Raley, a patent lawyer who has never prosecuted a criminal case, to look into Brown’s case.
She released the findings of Raley’s report on Mar. 1, and declared that Brown is “actually innocent,” Houston Public Media reported.
“The system has worked in this case,” Ogg said. “Alfred Brown was wrongfully convicted through prosecutorial misconduct.”
Flanked by the murder victims’ families, HPOU President Joe Gamaldi and former union president Ray Hunt immediately held a press conference in the wake of Ogg’s announcement, and blasted her decision.
“For quite some time, Alfred Brown and his attorneys have been seeking a declaration of ‘actual innocence,’ so he may receive compensation from the state,” Gamaldi said during the conference.
By law, such a finding requires that Ogg would need to conclude that “no credible evidence exists that inculpates the defendant,” Gamaldi explained.
“[In] laymen’s terms, that means that no reasonable person would believe that this suspect had anything to do in these murders,” he continued. “In Alfred Brown’s case, it’s our belief that the district attorney can’t touch that standard with a 10-foot pole.”
Gamaldi reiterated that, even today, Brown continues to be the “prime, number one suspect” in Officer Clark’s murder, and that the union believes that so strongly in the evidence against him that they predict the case will be brought before a grand jury for charges once again.
Gamaldi noted that Ogg reviewed the case against Brown for over a year before she hired a special prosecutor to look into it.
“It’s our opinion that, at best, she’s been completely incompetent in handling this case, and at worst, she’s politically motivated to allow Alfred Brown to walk free to curry favor with people that she made promises [to] as ‘Candidate Ogg,” the union president railed.
He and Hunt pointed out that Ogg promised to look into the case even before she was elected.
“She talked to [Clark’s] attorneys prior to being elected, and said she was going to look into this case,” Hunt said, adding that Ogg was “lying” when she claimed she didn’t review the case until she was in office.
“She should be embarrassed and ashamed at how incompetently this matter is being handled while these families continue to suffer,” Gamaldi said.
According to Gamaldi, Ogg’s office utilized $72,000 in taxpayer money to hire Raley to look into the case, even though he has “never prosecuted a criminal case before in his career.”
“He’s a patent attorney,” Gamaldi said.
Hunt noted that Raley is probably a great patent attorney and a nice guy, but argued that he is not a prosecutor.
“John Raley’s never prosecuted a traffic ticket,” he said with disgust.
As a result, if Raley had found probable cause to prosecute the case, Ogg had hired someone who wouldn’t have even been able to prosecute it himself, Hunt said.
“That’s not what you do for a special prosecutor,” he explained. “She hired him for one reason, and one reason only – and that was to find Alfred Brown ‘actually innocent.’”
Hunt also challenged Ogg’s assertion that Raley is an “expert in the field,” as well as her declarations that the special prosecutor “worked closely with the Homicide Division” on the case.
“Not one retired or active detective from the Houston Police Homicide Division believes that [Brown] is actually innocent,” he said.
“I hope this case comes back and haunts Kim Ogg,” Hunt said. “[She] is a disgrace to Harris County…I’m disgusted by [her].”
With the evidence against him, it goes against all logic to declare Brown innocent, Gamaldi said.
“The mere fact that I’m holding this press conference is absurd,” he declared. “No one in their right mind who has seen all the evidence would believe that this case would even come close to meeting the standard of ‘actual innocence.’”
The union president urged the Houston Police Department to bring the “mountain of evidence” before the grand jury, so that Brown can be indicted for his role in the double homicide.
“It is about time that Kim Ogg starts thinking about the victims and their families instead of [her] own political agenda,” he added. “She didn’t even have the decency to meet with these families before she made this announcement.”
Instead, she had one of her subordinates call them 15 minutes before her own press conference, and made them “drop this bomb on them,” Gamaldi railed.
Officer Clark’s widow, Hilda Clark, tearfully explained that she has tried to meet with Ogg on numerous occasions since she took office.
“She never had the decency to meet with me,” Hilda said. “I know she met with Alfred Brown several times, and I don’t know what she promised him, but she hired John Raley to support him in his case.”
Hilda said that witnesses who could place Brown at the scene of the murders have repeatedly been threatened by Brown’s supporters.
“I feel like I’m fighting the system,” the slain officer’s wife said. “I should not have to fight the system to get my husband justice.
Officer Clark served the Houston Police department for 20 years.
“She’s gonna let Alfred Brown collect money from the state for killing my husband,” Hilda continued. “She’s gonna bless him with millions of dollars for killing my husband.”
Officer Clark’s sister, Arlene Clark, wrote a statement to Ogg, which Gamaldi read aloud during the press conference.
“You say that you support victims, but you forgot who the victim is,” Arlene said. “It is Charles. He is being victimized again by you using his death as a bargaining chip to garner votes.”
“My brother’s death should not be used as a political tactic as you see fit. I will continue to stand up and support my brothers and sisters in blue whenever I see wrongdoing, and how you have handled this case, DA Ogg, was wrong,” the slain officer’s sister said.