COLUMBUS, Ohio — An attorney representing former Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jason Meade said evidence will show he acted in accordance with the law when he shot and killed Casey Goodson Jr. last year.
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.
In a written statement released on his client's behalf, attorney Mark Collins said Meade 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.
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.
Collins said Meade followed Goodson to a house where he identified himself as a law enforcement officer and pleaded with him to show his hands.
“Mr. Goodson ignored Jason's commands. These commands were shouted several more times while Mr. Goodson was attempting to enter the house with the gun still in his right hand,” Collins wrote.
Goodson then allegedly “turned and looked in Jason's direction while lifting his right arm back toward Jason, pointing the barrel of the gun in Jason's direction,” according to Collins.
"Jason commanded Mr. Goodson to once again "drop the gun," and when that command was ignored, and while the gun was pointing at Mr. Meade, he, in fear for his life as well as those inside the house, fired his weapon at Mr. Goodson,” Collins said.
According to the coroner’s report, Goodson was shot six times – five times in his back and once in his buttocks.
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.
Goodson's family on Thursday filed a federal civil lawsuit against Franklin County and Meade, claiming excessive force and wrongful death were both factors in the shooting. The lawsuit also states that the county is responsible for employing, training and supervising Meade leading up to the shooting.
Collins said Meade will 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.
You can read the full written statement from Collins below.
First and foremost, this indictment did not take us by surprise. What we all need to remember is just like Casey Goodson's family has demanded justice, so does Jason Meade and his family. We intend to litigate this case in a manner to ensure that all stones are turned over and Jason gets the process he's due.
On December 4, 2020, Jason Meade was working his assignment with the United States Marshal's Service Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST). This is an assignment that Jason had proudly worked for more than three years. As he and his team were on their way back to SOFAST headquarters after searching for a fugitive wanted on a state felony warrant, he observed a driver, later identified as Casey Goodson, with a black handgun with an extended magazine in his right hand hanging above his car's steering wheel in a sideways manner. Mr. Goodson repeatedly pumped the gun toward the windshield and appeared to be yelling. As another car approached Mr. Goodson's vehicle while it was stopped, he aimed the gun at the other driver, tracking that driver with his weapon. Using the US Marshal radio frequency, Jason radioed his fellow SOFAST colleagues, informing them what he saw. When asked, Jason gave his location to his fellow SOFAST members and also a play-by-play of what he was observing. As Mr. Goodson's car drove by Jason Meade's vehicle, Goodson was still waving the firearm erratically and tracked Meade with the weapon.
Mr. Meade acted within his lawful duties as an officer of the law when he pursued Mr. Goodson to investigate the felony weapons offense he witnessed. Once parked, Jason donned his tactical vest, clearly identifying him as a member of the US Marshal fugitive task force. In response to Jason's radio transmissions, other SOFAST members arrived on the scene to provide support. Jason Meade identified Mr. Goodson to the other officers and at that time, Mr. Goodson had a pistol in his right hand and a plastic bag in his left.
Mr. Goodson then approached a house and went around the back of it, at which time Jason lost visual of him so he took the necessary steps to find Mr. Goodson. Once he was able to regain a visual, Jason saw Mr. Goodson approaching a side door inside an open fence gate. Jason screamed several times identifying himself as a law enforcement officer and pleading with Mr. Goodson to show his hands. At least one civilian in the area heard Jason's commands. However, Mr. Goodson ignored Jason's commands. These commands were shouted several more times while Mr. Goodson was attempting to enter the house with the gun still in his right hand. Mr. Goodson refused to comply. However, as he was about to cross the threshold, Jason saw Mr. Goodson sigh and his shoulders droop in what he thought was a surrendering motion. Instead, Mr. Goodson turned and looked in Jason's direction while lifting his right arm back toward Jason, pointing the barrel of the gun in Jason's direction. Jason commanded Mr. Goodson to once again "drop the gun," and when that command was ignored, and while the gun was pointing at Mr. Meade, he, in fear for his life as well as those inside the house, fired his weapon at Mr. Goodson.
A gun was recovered from Mr. Goodson.
After this incident, Jason Meade continued to cooperate with law enforcement throughout this investigation and submitted a statement to law enforcement. Additionally, he remained on scene to complete a walk-through of the scene with the investigating agencies, and answered their questions concerning his distance from Mr. Goodson when he fired his weapon. Jason will enter a Not Guilty Plea at arraignment and argue that a reasonable bond is appropriate in this case. Jason turned himself in this morning. Consequently, no meaningful argument can be made that he's a risk of flight. Additionally, Jason has been in the community for the past year, without incident. Jason is also no longer a member of the law enforcement community. Given his ties to this community, his decorated military record, and his lack of a criminal record, Jason's release does not pose a danger to this community.
As we proceed through the critical stages of this case, the evidence will show Jason Meade acted in accordance with the law of the Supreme Court of the United States with respect to Graham v. Connor and its progeny, his training, and directives.