COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A motion to change venue in the murder case against a former Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy was denied at a pretrial hearing.
Jason Meade appeared in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Thursday while the judge issued decisions on multiple motions ahead of a trial. Meade, who is on trial for the shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr., will have to face jurors in Franklin County — something the defense argued would make it impossible to ensure a fair trial.
The defense argued too much coverage of the case, protests with signs calling Meade a “murderer” and social media posts point to a poisoned jury pool. It’s one of multiple points of contention between the prosecution and the defense.
“Jason Meade murdered Casey here, in Franklin County, in front of his family, and he should have to face a jury in front of Casey’s peers,” Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother, told NBC4.
In a routine motion filing for violent crimes, the defense asked the judge Thursday to disallow the use of “victim” in reference to Goodson so as not to prejudice the jury, something to which the prosecution objects. The judge has yet to issue a ruling.
“Using the term ‘victim’ necessarily implies a crime occurred, that’s what the case law says,” said Steve Nolder, one of Meade’s attorneys.
At the center of the case are conflicting accounts as to whether Goodson, a 23-year-old Black man, posed a threat to Meade. Meade was not wearing a body camera during the shooting.
On the day of the shooting — Dec. 4, 2020 — U.S. Marshal Pete Tobin told NBC4 Meade was part of a fugitive task force in a north Columbus neighborhood. Tobin initially said Goodson waved a gun at Meade while driving past members of the task force. Meade followed Goodson back to a family residence in the 3900 block of Estates Place.
Meade’s attorney said that Goodson pointed a firearm at Meade and did not follow instructions to drop the weapon before the shooting, and that at least one witness confirmed that account.
Goodson’s family has repeatedly denied the defense’s description of the incident. His mother, Tamala Payne, and a family attorney previously said that Goodson was returning from the dentist with Subway sandwiches and was unlocking the door as he was shot, with his death witnessed by his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers near the door.
The defense has claimed police recovered a gun from Goodson. His mother previously said that Goodson, who had no criminal background, had a license to legally carry a concealed weapon and wanted to become a CCW instructor.
The final autopsy report showed that Goodson was shot six times, five times in the back and once in the buttocks.
The prosecution and defense agreed Thursday that jurors should visit multiple locations related to the shooting during the trial — without either side influencing those visits.
Meade, who faces two murder charges and one charge of reckless homicide, left the sheriff’s office on disability retirement in July 2021. Because the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office represents the sheriff’s office in all legal proceedings, special prosecutors Gary S. Shroyer and H. Tim Merkle are prosecuting the case. A federal lawsuit that Goodson’s family filed against Meade and the sheriff’s office has been stayed, pending the criminal trial.