(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Former Ohio sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of a Black man who was shot and killed while entering his grandmother’s house last December.
In March, the Franklin County Coroner said that Casey Goodson Jr. was shot in his back five times, according to ABC affiliate WSYX in Columbus, Ohio.
Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, said it had been “a year of grief and a year of pain” at a press conference Thursday morning.
“I’m overwhelmed with joy,” she said in response to the charges. “My emotions are everywhere. We did it y’all. We did it.”
Meade’s attorney, Mark C. Collins, said in a statement that his client “acted within his lawful duties as an officer of the law when he pursued Mr. Goodson,” and said Meade fired his weapon at Goodson in “fear for his life as well as those inside the house.”
Meade turned himself in Thursday and plans to plead not guilty, Collins said.
The attorney for Goodson’s family, Sean Walton, announced that they also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Meade and Franklin County on Thursday. The lawsuit alleges excessive force, wrongful death and that the practices of the Franklin County Sheriff’s office contributed to Goodson’s death.
Franklin County declined to comment to ABC News on the civil lawsuit, citing pending litigation.
Payne said she ultimately wants Meade convicted and given a life sentence for her son’s killing.
“We are fully aware that this is only the beginning of the fight,” she said at the press conference. “This was the first part of the fight. The ultimate fight is the conviction and I want a life sentence, that’s what I’m fighting for.”
Payne also said that Thursday’s indictment showed that her family’s portrayal of Goodson was accurate.
“Casey is exactly who we say he is,” she said. “Casey was a good son. He was a loving son. Casey was a good grandson. Casey was a good brother, a good role model. Casey was exactly who we portrayed Casey to be.”
Initially, U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin said Meade confronted Goodson after Goodson waved a gun at him. According to the Associated Press, he later withdrew those remarks, saying they were based on “insufficient information.”
Payne argued that the indictment showed that the claim Goodson was waving a gun is a lie, though Collins, Meade’s attorney, pushed back on that claim in a statement, alleging that Goodson was “waving the firearm erratically and tracked Meade with the weapon,” as he drove by Meade’s vehicle.
Robin Ross, a public information officer for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, told ABC News, “The commissioners appreciate certainly the patience of the Goodson family, and as the criminal case moves to the next stage, we look forward to a full fair and transparent process.”
Following Meade’s indictment, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said in a statement that he asked his staff to review the investigation so the agency could learn from this situation.
“This office has a professional obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the community and our deputies are kept safe,” he said. “As I’ve said from the very beginning, I pray for everyone involved in this tragedy.”
Walton said that the family’s lawsuit would bring some level of accountability to Goodson’s family, who he said had been traumatized by the shooting.
“Since that day, they’ve had to deal with this daily sadness and grief for nearly a year,” he said. “So this day could not come soon enough. But they stayed strong, they never wavered, and they told the truth. And the truth will prevail in this case.”
Nine members of Goodson’s family, including four children, were in his grandmother’s home when he was shot, Walton said.
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