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Casey Goodson, Jr.'s Family Celebrates Indictment Of Former Sheriff's Deputy

Former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade is due in court Friday afternoon, when he’s expected to plead not guilty to charges of murder and reckless homicide stemming from last year’s shooting of Casey Goodson, Jr.

Meade was indicted almost exactly a year after he killed Goodson, who was Black, outside of Goodson's Northland area home.

"We now know that based on the facts and the evidence that the grand jury heard, that they believe that there's probable cause that a murder occurred," Goodson’s family’s attorney Sean Walton said at a Thursday press conference.

Meade shot Goodson six times, including five times in the back, on December 4, 2020. Goodson’s family says he was shot while entering his home.

Meade's attorney, Mark Collins, said his client had just wrapped up his work on a federal fugitive task force when he saw Goodson in a car waving a gun, and a confrontation ensued.

"When he saw Mr. Goodson trying to elude him, he repeatedly requested him to drop the gun, show him his hands, and he screamed it, and he screamed loud enough to independent witness heard that,” Collins said. “And then my client saw Mr. Goodson, what he believed his shoulders to go down like ‘OK, he's going to comply with my request.’ And then in a split second, the gun turned back towards my client, and he had no choice. And so he had, he jumped to the left and then used the force that he did,” Collins said.

Goodson's family disputes that account. They said Goodson only held a mask and sandwich.

"Casey was a good son,” his mother Tamala Payne said at the Thursday press conference. “Casey was a loving son. Casey was a good grandson, Casey was a good brother. Casey was a good role model, a good leader. Casey was exactly who we portrayed Casey to be."

There is no footage of the shooting, because Meade, like other sheriff's deputies, was not equipped with a body camera. Goodson had a legal concealed carry gun permit.

Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin issued a statement following Meade's indictment, which reads in part:

"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.”

The local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police also put out a statement, which concludes:

"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."

The Goodson family's attorney Sean Walton said the indictment is welcome, but the journey continues.

"You know, what we know is that it's incredibly difficult to indict and convict a police officer. The process has to play out and our ultimate goal is a conviction. And so you know that That's the end game here," he said.

The family has also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit and seeks to hold Franklin County accountable for training and employing Meade.

Goodson's mother Tamala Payne told reporters Thursday she was confident Meade would be charged.

"I can't say that my heart is full. My heart will be full once he's convicted, but I'm happy. We're a step closer," Payne said.

Meade is scheduled for arraignment Friday at 1 p.m.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.