Prosecutors will retry ex-deputy Jason Meade for Casey Goodson Jr. shooting

Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Michael Jason Meade testifies in his own defense in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Meade testified he shot Casey Goodson Jr. after the 23-year-old pointed a gun at him on Dec. 4, 2020.
Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Michael Jason Meade testifies in his own defense in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Meade testified he shot Casey Goodson Jr. after the 23-year-old pointed a gun at him on Dec. 4, 2020.
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The former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy accused of killing Casey Goodson Jr. will face a second trial after a mistrial in his first last week.

Special prosecutors Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer and Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Josh Shaw, who were appointed to handle the criminal case against former deputy Jason Meade, announced Thursday they will seek a new trial.

Meade has pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and one charge of reckless homicide related to the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020, at the side door to Goodson's residence in Columbus' North Linden.

A jury could not reach a unanimous verdict after a three-week trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and Judge David Young declared a mistrial on Feb. 16.

Meade's defense attorneys said in a statement they are not surprised by the prosecution's decision and denounced local elected leaders for pressuring special prosecutors to pursue another trial.

Why special prosecutors said they will retry Jason Meade

In an emailed statement, the special prosecutors wrote that "it is in the best interest of all involved and the community to move forward with a second trial."

The special prosecutors said they will "pursue all the original charges against the defendant Michael Jason Meade. (We) look forward to presenting what (we) believe is a strong and compelling evidentiary case in support of all the criminal charges against Mr. Meade."

Defense team denounces 'palpable' political pressure, 'bloodlust' for new trial

Meade's defense attorneys, Mark Collins, Kaitlyn Stephens and Steven Nolder, put out a statement Thursday afternoon in response to the prosecution's announcement.

"The political pressure to move forward with this case is palpable and will impede the ability of Jason Meade to get a fair trial. How would you like to be presumed innocent and all of the elected officials in the county where you’re going to be retried have prejudged your case and adjudicated you guilty."

They pointed out that City Attorney Zach Klein, City Council President Shannon Hardin and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners were among those who made statements after the mistrial calling for a new trial or expressing sympathy for Goodson's family.

"The blood lust motivating a retrial is real and the state will once again seek their pound of flesh. However, the facts won’t change," the defense statement said. "The (prosecution) imposes its own fairytale about what it believes; but that is all that it is — a fairytale. The fact in evidence is that a gun was pointed in Meade’s direction."

The attorneys said the events of Dec. 4, 2020 were tragic, but it is equally tragic that elected officials pressured the special prosecutors into a retrial.

Dispatch editorial board opinion: Why Jason Meade must be retried

Another view: Marion County prosecutor says there's no justice in retrying Meade

Local FOP says retrial decision 'driven solely by politics'

Brian Toth, vice president of Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9, which represents law enforcement officers from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the Columbus Division of Police and other agencies, said in a news release that the decision by county special prosecutors Thursday to retry Meade was no surprise given the front page headline Thursday in The Dispatch reporting how much money the attorneys "have pocketed from this county."

"This is a decision driven solely by politics — not by the law and certainly not by the evidence against Deputy Meade, of which there is none," Toth said.

Citing social media comments made by elected officials such as Hardin and Klein, Toth said, "It is clear our elected officials have robbed Deputy Meade of his presumption of innocence, guaranteeing that he could never receive a fair trial in Franklin County. They have so corrupted the Constitutional right to a fair trial that this matter must be moved to another county."

When will Jason Meade's second murder trial take place?

Meade's next court date is scheduled for June 6, but that is likely to be a status conference where attorneys will select a new trial date.

Past reporting: Confused about Jason Meade mistrial? Your questions answered about what's next and more

Attorney for Casey Goodson's family: jury split 9-3 for conviction

Sean Walton, who is representing Goodson's mother, Tamala Payne, in a civil lawsuit against the county and Meade, said the family appreciates the special prosecutors' dedication.

Walton said they have spoken with several jurors, who indicated they were split nine to three in favor of a guilty verdict on two of the three charges.

"Those Franklin County residents heard the case against Jason Meade, as well as his case for justification, and believed that he was guilty of murder," Walton said. "While some people may believe that this case should go away and that a jury will not be able to make a decision, I believe it is safe to say those nine jurors would disagree."

Walton said the next trial cannot come soon enough.

How much did it cost taxpayers to try Jason Meade?

Trying Meade has cost Franklin County hundreds of thousands of dollars. The county has so far paid Merkle and Shroyer more than $355,000 to handle the case.

And those numbers do not include payments for more recent work in January and February, including during Meade's trial, or the cost of paying other court personnel.

What did defense, prosecution say at trial?

Meade testified that he saw Goodson drive by, waving around a gun and pointing it at him and others. Meade pursued Goodson a short distance to his residence on Estates Place. Meade said Goodson ignored commands to drop his weapon.

Meade said Goodson turned slightly at the door and pointed his gun at him, prompting him to shoot.

Meade shot Goodson six times, five in the back and once in the side, with a single trigger pull of his rifle set to automatic, according to evidence at trial.

Special prosecutors said Goodson's gun was holstered, he had earbuds in and could not hear Meade's commands, and he was carrying a bag of Subway sandwiches into his home.


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Jason Meade: Prosecutors will retry ex-deputy in fatal shooting