COLUMBUS, Ohio — Murder charges were filed in Franklin County Court Thursday against former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade for the shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr. last December.
Meade is charged with two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide for the shooting that happened in north Columbus near Ferris Road and Estates Place on Dec. 4, 2020.
According to the indictment, Meade is charged with one count of murder for “purposely” causing Goodson’s death. The second murder charge is for Meade fatally shooting Goodson “as a proximate result of the offender committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence.”
Additionally, the indictment states Meade recklessly caused Goodson’s death, prompting the reckless homicide charge.
Meade, a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was finishing up an unsuccessful search for a fugitive with the U.S. Marshals Office fugitive task force. Goodson was not the subject of the fugitive search.
U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin initially said Meade confronted Goodson after he drove by and waved a gun at the deputy. He later withdrew those comments saying they’d been based on “insufficient information.”
Tobin also said Meade was “not performing a mission” for the marshals at the time of the shooting.
Meade confronted Goodson outside of his vehicle in front of his grandmother's home. A witness said Meade told Goodson to drop his gun. When he didn't, Meade shot him.
Relatives say Goodson was carrying a bag of sandwiches while opening the door to his grandmother’s house at the time he was shot.
He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The sheriff’s office deputies are not equipped with bodyworn cameras, so there is no recording of the shooting or the events leading up to it.
Officials said that a gun was recovered from the scene. Goodson’s family said if he had been carrying a gun he had a license to do so.
According to the coroner’s report, Goodson was shot six times – five times in his back and once in his buttocks.
Meade was placed on administrative leave after the shooting before leaving the sheriff’s office on disability retirement in July. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Friday.
In response to the indictment, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said he plans to have his staff members review the independent investigation once it becomes available as an effort to learn and grow as an agency, adding it is their job to "be even higher than that of our criminal justice system."
"As law enforcement officers we must meet this higher standard because of the immense trust we ask the community to place in us," Baldwin said in part.
Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin
“After the grand jury indictment today, I’ve reminded my staff that while everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the standards for being a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy must be even higher than that of our criminal justice system. As law enforcement officers we must meet this higher standard because of the immense trust we ask the community to place in us. It’s vital to maintain that trust, which is why I’ve tasked members of my staff to review the facts from the independent investigation when we’re able to fully access them and determine how this agency can best learn from this tragedy. This office has a professional obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the community and our deputies are kept safe. As I’ve said from the very beginning, I pray for everyone involved in this tragedy.”
Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9 Vice President Brian Steel
"This morning we learned Retired Franklin County Deputy Jason Meade was charged with murder and reckless homicide. This stems from a shooting incident last December while he was assigned to the United States Marshals Office Fugitive Task Force. As we have stated before, we believe every citizen deserves due process and a law enforcement officer is no different. We respect the Franklin County Grand Jury process and thank the citizens of our great community who comprise it. However, it is not lost on us that this announcement comes only days before the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting and planned protest this Saturday at City Hall. Justice is not an outcome. Justice is a process. We continue to stand by Retired Deputy Meade and await the outcome of the Jury Trial. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all the families impacted by this incident."
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther
"After a nearly year-long investigation, the indictment of former Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Jason Meade in the killing of Casey Goodson, Jr. is a step toward justice.
While a conviction will not bring Casey back to his loving family, it offers hope that there will be some measure of accountability and that his death will not be not in vain.
We continue to work to make meaningful policing reform and bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities of color."