COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s been nearly a year since the death of 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. His mother Tamala Payne says she can finally breathe.
On Thursday, murder charges were filed against former Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade for the shooting death of Goodson.
Meade is charged with two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide for the shooting that happened in north Columbus on Dec. 4, 2020.
“It’s hard when you’re going up against an officer and you don’t have anything to support you. No facts, no evidence, no body cam, no eyewitnesses. We had the coroner’s report, which does tell the story,” Payne said.
Meade’s attorney Mark Collins said the former deputy acted within his lawful duties as an officer when he pursued Goodson after he allegedly witnessed him waving a gun at a vehicle before pointing the weapon at Meade himself.
“I don’t care what he says. You know, it’s OK with me. He can say what he wants to say. He’s saying what he’s supposed to say. Evidence, facts (and) forensic evidence do not lie and it’s why we’re here today,” Payne said.
Although this is the day Payne has been fighting for, she’d rather not be in this situation at all.
“We’re still hurt. We’re still deeply saddened that we don’t have Casey. We’d so much rather have Casey, but unfortunately, this is the reality of our lives. Casey’s not here and he’s not coming back. The best thing that we can do to even try to heal is to receive some kind of accountability for Casey,” she said.
In addition to Thursday’s indictment, the family’s attorney filed a federal civil lawsuit against Meade and Franklin County for more accountability.
“It’s personal. (Meade) took my firstborn. He took my son for nothing,” Payne said.
Goodson’s mother strongly believes justice will be served for her son. She said this is the first hurdle and now she’s on to the next.
“The true victory is the conviction. I want a conviction with a life sentence. He took Casey’s life forever (and) his life deserves to be taken forever,” Payne said.
Collins said Meade plans to enter a not guilty plea at his arraignment on Friday and argue that a reasonable bond is appropriate because he has cooperated with the investigation and poses no risk to the community.