COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Former Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade turned himself into law enforcement on Thursday morning after being indicted on charges in the death of Casey Goodson Jr.
Meade is facing two charges of murder and one of reckless homicide in the death of Goodson. His attorney, Mark Collins, said Meade will plead not guilty at his arraignment hearing, scheduled for Friday.
A full response from Collins included several details of Meade’s account of what happened on Dec. 4, 2020, when Meade spotted Goodson as he was coming off an assignment with the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force.
“First and foremost, this indictment did not take us by surprise,” the statement read. “What we all need to remember is just like Casey Goodson’s family has demanded justice, so does Jason Meade and his family. We intend to litigate this case in a manner to ensure that all stones are turned over and Jason gets the process he’s due.
“On December 4, 2020, Jason Meade was working his assignment with the United States Marshal’s Service Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST). This is an assignment that Jason had proudly worked for more than three years. As he and his team were on their way back to SOFAST headquarters after searching for a fugitive wanted on a stale felony warrant, he observed a driver, later identified as Casey Goodson, with a black handgun with an extended magazine in his right hand hanging above his car’s steering wheel in a sideways manner. Mr. Goodson repeatedly pumped the gun toward the windshield and appeared to be yelling. As another car approached Mr. Goodson’s vehicle while it was stopped, he aimed the gun at the other driver, tracking that driver with his weapon. Using the US Marshal radio frequency, Jason radioed his fellow SOFAST colleagues, informing them what he saw. When asked, Jason gave his location to his fellow SOFAST members and also a play-by-play of what he was observing. As Mr. Goodson’s car drove by Jason Meade’s vehicle, Goodson was still waving the firearm erratically and tracked Meade with the weapon.
“Mr. Meade acted within his lawful duties as an officer of the law when he pursued Mr. Goodson to investigate the felony weapons offense he witnessed. Once parked, Jason donned his tactical vest, clearly identifying him as a member of the US Marshal fugitive ask force. In response to Jason’s radio transmissions, other SOFAST members arrived on the scene to provide support. Jason Meade identified Mr. Goodson to the other officers and at that time, Mr. Goodson had a pistol in his right hand and a plastic bag in his left.
“Mr. Goodson then approached a house and went around the back of it, at which time Jason lost visual of him so he took the necessary steps to find Mr. Goodson. Once he was able to regain a visual, Jason saw Mr. Goodson approaching a side door inside an open fence gate. Jason screamed several times identifying himself as a law enforcement officer and pleading with Mr. Goodson to show his hands. At least one civilian in the area heard Jason’s commands. However, Mr. Goodson ignored Jason’s commands. These commands were shouted several more times while Mr. Goodson was attempting to enter the house with the gun still in his right hand. Mr. Goodson refused to comply. However, as he was about to cross the threshold, Jason saw Mr. Goodson sigh and his shoulders droop in what he thought was a surrendering motion. Instead, Mr. Goodson turned and looked in Jason’s direction while lifting his right arm back toward Jason, pointing the barrel of the gun in Jason’s direction. Jason commanded Mr. Goodson to once again ‘drop the gun,’ and when that command was ignored, and while the gun was pointing at Mr. Meade, he, in fear for his life as well as those inside the house, fired his weapon at Mr. Goodson.
“A gun was recovered from Mr. Goodson.
“After this incident, Jason Meade continued to cooperate with law enforcement throughout this investigation and submitted a statement to law enforcement. Additionally, he remained on scene to complete a walk-through of the scene with the investigating agencies, and answered their questions concerning his distance from Mr. Goodson when he fired his weapon. Jason will enter a not guilty plea at arraignment and argue that a reasonable bond is appropriate in this case. Jason turned himself in this morning. Consequently, no meaningful argument can be made that he’s a risk of flight. Additionally, Jason has been in the community for the past year, without incident. Jason is also no longer a member of the law enforcement community, Given his ties to this community, his decorated military record, and his lack of a criminal record, Jason’s release does not pose a danger to this community. As we proceed through the critical stages of this case, the evidence will show Jason Meade acted in accordance with the law of the Supreme Court of the United States with respect to Graham v. Connor and its progeny, his training, and directives.”
NBC4 will provide reactions from others in the community below as it receives them.
After the grand jury indictment today, I’ve reminded my staff that while everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the standards for being a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy must be even higher than that of our criminal justice system. As law enforcement officers we must meet this higher standard because of the immense trust we ask the community to place in us. It’s vital to maintain that trust, which is why I’ve tasked members of my staff to review the facts from the independent investigation when we’re able to fully access them and determine how this agency can best learn from this tragedy. 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.”Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin
“This morning we learned Retired Franklin County Deputy Jason Meade was charged with murder and reckless homicide. This stems from a shooting incident last December while he was assigned to the United States Marshals Office Fugitive Task Force. As we have stated before, we believe every citizen deserves due process and a law enforcement officer is no different. We respect the Franklin County Grand Jury process and thank the citizens of our great community who compromise it. However, it is not lost on us that this announcement comes only days before the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting and planned protest this Saturday at City Hall. 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.Brian A. Steel, Vice President FOP Capital City Lodge #9
“While today’s indictment is a positive step forward in securing justice for Casey Goodson Jr., an indictment is not the end of the process, but merely the beginning,” said Rep. Humphrey. “We hope for a full, fair and transparent process that brings forth a conviction and healing for Mr. Goodson’s family and our community.”State Rep. Latyna M. Humphrey (D-Columbus)
“Law enforcement has a duty and responsibility to protect life and serve every resident in our community, and when they fail to do that, they absolutely must be held to account. I am glad to hear that a Franklin County grand jury believes that Jason Meade should be held accountable for the death of Casey Goodson Jr. I look forward to a full, fair and transparent process as this case moves forward.”Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley
“Mr. Goodson should be alive today and my thoughts are with his family as they endure this unthinkable process. No verdict will reveal to us what we already know: we must do better and take action to end systemic racism in our criminal justice system and demand justice for all Black lives unjustly lost. We cannot achieve equal justice in this country unless our system of public safety builds trust in our Black communities by listening to their voices and strengthening relationships. It’s long past time that Congress enacted criminal justice reform that encourages de-escalation of conflicts and builds bridges between police departments and the communities they swear an oath to protect and serve.”Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
“Casey Goodson Jr.’s senseless murder last year put me at a loss for words. I was sickened to seeU.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
another Black man, someone from our own community, gunned down by someone who was
sworn to protect and serve. As I continue to closely monitor this case as it moves through the
courts, I pray that Mr. Goodson’s family and our community will receive justice.”