COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Sunday marks two years since Casey Goodson Jr. was shot and killed by now retired Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade. Every day since, Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, has worked to keep her son’s memory alive.
“Casey was full of life, full of love. His siblings, that’s all he cared about. His siblings were like his kids, he was an old soul, he was a wonderful dude,” Payne said.
Payne said some days are difficult, but she keeps pushing through for her son. On Sunday, the anniversary of his death, Payne got together with other family and friends for a celebration of Goodson’s life. Pictures and messages of love for Goodson were placed all around the space.
“It’s the day his life was taken but I don’t want to be sad because even though he only lived 23 years, he was so full of life and got to experience so much just being a truck driver and being out on the road,” Payne said. “So instead of the day he was executed being full of sadness, I’d rather celebrate his life and the man he was.”
On Dec. 4, 2020, as Goodson was walking into his family’s north Columbus home, he was shot by Meade. Meade was working for a U.S. Marshal’s task force at the time looking for a suspect. That suspect was not Goodson. Goodson was shot five times in the back and once in the buttocks, according to the coroner’s report.
“It’s important that the public knows as the family celebrates Casey’s life, that they’re still fighting, fighting about his death and that should come to an end,” said Sean Walton, the attorney for Goodson’s family.
Meade is facing two murder charges and a reckless homicide charge. He’s pleaded not guilty. His attorney said Goodson pointed a gun at his client and did not follow his orders. Goodson’s family and Walton said the 23-year-old did nothing wrong, had AirPods in, was carrying sandwiches at the time, and had a license to carry concealed.
“Casey needs me now more than he’s ever needed me in his life here on earth and I’m not going to let him down,” said Payne. “So every day whether I feel like it, whether I don’t, didn’t feel like this today but I got up and I’m going to do it because I’m all he’s got.”
Payne said the family plans on holding a celebration of life for Casey every year on Dec. 4. A trial date for Meade has not been set yet.