Ex-Ohio Deputy Charged With Murder Takes the Stand, Claims Victim Brandished a Gun

A former Ohio sheriff’s deputy testified in a murder trial Tuesday that the man he murdered lifted a gun to shoot him, despite prosecutors’ claims that the victim’s gun was recovered on his kitchen floor with the safety mechanism engaged.

Jason Meade took the stand to discuss the events surrounding the fatal 2020 shooting of Casey Goodson Jr., which was not filmed by a body camera since Meade was not wearing one at the time.

He claimed that when Meade shot 23-year-old Goodson six times, five of them in the back, he feared for his own and those around him’s safety.

Meade, who is white, has pled not guilty to murder and reckless homicide in the killing of Black man Goodson. According to authorities, the sheriff’s deputy, who also serves as a pastor at a Baptist church, shot Goodson as he entered his grandmother’s house. According to authorities, Goodson tumbled into the kitchen and was found with his revolver.

Ex-Ohio Deputy Charged With Murder Takes the Stand, Claims Victim Brandished a Gun

Prosecutors claim Goodson was killed while clutching a bag of sandwiches in one hand and his keys in the other. Meade testified that the incident occurred after Goodson allegedly brandished a gun at him from his car earlier and failed to respond to commands when he pursued Goodson to the house. Meade claimed Goodson had his back to him at first, and he fired at him when he turned to raise a gun against him.

“I suspected he was going to shoot me. I’m thinking: I don’t want to die. “I didn’t want to shoot him,” he explained. Meade also stated that he hoped Goodson would surrender, but believed he had little choice in stopping a “deadly threat.”

On the stand, Meade addressed previous statements regarding his law enforcement job made at a Christian men’s conference while serving as a pastor. The recordings sparked outrage, and Meade’s lawyers attempted to withhold them from the jury, but their motion was granted.

In the tapes, when chatting to conference attendees, Meade stated that he had a “great job” and gets to “hunt” people. He also commented on the use of force, claiming that he is “justified” in “throwing the first punch” because others wish they could punch those people as well.

He claimed that his comment about hunting people was an attempt to explain his job in a way that those who were unfamiliar with it might understand.

Mead further stated that he frequently uses lived experience to express spiritual ideas, and that he was comparing the use of force to the biblical account of David and Goliath, in which a little child battles a giant who intends to murder him.

The prosecution and Goodson’s family have never denied that Goodson was carrying a gun, although it is worth noting that he also held a firearms license. Goodson also wore a holster around his waist that had no strap.

Gary Shroyer, the special prosecutor, questioned Meade about whether he had done enough to alert Goodson that he was a law enforcement officer. Meade informed Shroyer that the situation was urgent, that he didn’t have time to activate sirens or lights, and that Goodson must have heard him because he fled.

Shroyer reiterated that Goodson had AirPods in his ears when he died and cited contradictions in Meade’s testimony about “moving quickly” vs actively fleeing law enforcement. He also mentioned that Meade had lost sight of Goodson on the way to her grandmother’s house.

Shroyer also questioned Meade on whether, as a reasonable officer, he could have determined that Goodson was in his own car and on his way home, especially given that he was able to open the side door using his keys.

Meade stated that he did not observe how or with which hand Goodson opened the door, but that his actions “indicated criminal activity.

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