Casey Goodson’s family wants civil suit to proceed as criminal case faces new delay

By: - September 8, 2022 3:45 am

Goodson’s mother Tamala Payne speaking to reporters. (Photo by Nick Evans, OCJ.)

The family of Casey Goodson, Jr. wants to go forward with its civil case against Franklin County and Jason Meade, the former sheriff who killed Goodson in December 2020. A federal judge put that civil suit on hold pending a criminal trial against Meade. Last week a county court again delayed those criminal proceedings.

Goodson’s killing has been controversial from the outset. Then-deputy Meade served on a fugitive apprehension task force with the U.S. Marshalls. He encountered Goodson after one of those shifts ended, and claimed he saw Goodson waving a firearm while driving.

Goodson wasn’t a target of the task force, but Meade pursued him anyway. In court documents, Meade claimed Goodson ignored his commands to “show me your hands,” and then turned to face Meade while raising the handgun toward the sheriff.

Meade was not wearing a body camera. No independent eye witnesses of the incident have come forward.

New evidence

At a press conference Wednesday, the family’s attorney, Sean Walton, shared a photo of a bloodstained pair of airpod headphones they claim local investigators left at the scene. Walton said the family turned the headphones over to the FBI.

“We kept this information confidential because we knew that, as so often happens, Meade would come with his rehearsed police lies,” Walton claimed.

“We knew that Meade was going to say that he was reaching for a gun or pointing a gun,” he continued. “We had to make sure that Meade locked himself into those lies in order to ensure that he is convicted for this murder.”

The family says Goodson wore those headphones constantly, and their presence undercuts Meade’s version of events. Rather than turning to face Meade, they argue, Goodson was unaware of the deputy’s approach or alleged commands. Meade shot Goodson five times in the back.

“Casey was hunted,” his mother, Tamala Payne said.

“He was stalked, he became prey, and he was slaughtered — executed as he was going into his home, totally oblivious to the danger that was behind him.”

Jason Meade’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

The civil suit

Last December, almost a year after Goodson’s killing, the family filed its civil suit against the county and deputy Meade. Shortly afterward Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack’s office requested the court stay the civil case until the criminal case concludes.

Almost six months later, after multiple extensions requested by the defendants, the judge granted that stay.

Meanwhile the criminal case has seen repeated delays as well. Meade initially argued the case should move to federal court because of his role on the U.S. Marshall’s task force. The judge in that proceeding declined.

Since then, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas has continued the case four times. Attorneys won’t be back in the courtroom until Dec. 7.

Walton says the family has had enough of the inaction.

“We should not be fighting anymore,” he said.

He noted that, a year on, Franklin County hasn’t even filed a response to their complaint in federal court — just the motion to delay. Walton also said they’re not even planning to depose Jason Meade, who’s fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination played a significant role in delaying the civil case.

“We welcome them,” Walton said, “to engage us in any resolution of this matter or to allow us to move forward and present this to a jury, and let a jury decide what this family deserves for Jason Meade’s actions and Franklin County’s inaction.”



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Nick Evans
Nick Evans

Nick Evans has spent the past seven years reporting for NPR member stations in Florida and Ohio. He got his start in Tallahassee, covering issues like redistricting, same sex marriage and medical marijuana. Since arriving in Columbus in 2018, he has covered everything from city council to football. His work on Ohio politics and local policing have been featured numerous times on NPR.