Prosecutors: Keep Casey Goodson case in state court

Defense says officer was acting as a federal agent at the time of shooting

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio sheriff’s deputy charged with murder and reckless homicide in the death of a man he shot last year was not acting as a federal agent at the time and his case should remain in state court, prosecutors argued as they opposed the deputy’s efforts to have the case moved into federal court.

Casey Goodson Jr., who was Black, was shot as he entered his grandmother’s house following a dental appointment, according to his family and prosecutors who laid out a timeline following the indictment of Jason Meade last week. Meade, who is white, retired from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on disability over the summer.

Meade had been on regular assignment with a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force immediately before the shooting. Although the Marshals have said Meade was not acting as a task force member when he shot Goodson, Meade’s attorneys say the opposite.

As soon as charges were filed against Meade Dec. 2, his attorneys filed a request in federal court to move the case there, arguing Meade was acting as a federal agent at the time.

Meade’s attorneys hope to have him covered by immunity provided federal officers, meaning his case couldn’t be tried in a state court and the charges would have to be dismissed, one of Meade’s attorneys, Steve Nolder, has said.

But two special Franklin County prosecutors on Tuesday said the case belongs in state court. They note that the shooting happened after Meade’s unsuccessful search for a fugitive had ended and while Meade was returning to his office. His work as a task force member “had concluded for the day and members of the task force were leaving the field,” prosecutors Gary Shroyer and Tim Merkle said in a court filing.

The request by Meade’s attorneys to move the case also runs counter to what U.S. Marshal Pete Tobin said a week after the shooting.

Meade “was acting on his own and in his independent authority as a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy within his home jurisdiction when he encountered Mr. Goodson, and throughout the subsequent incident leading to Mr. Goodson’s death,” Tobin said in a Dec. 11, 2020 statement

Meade has pleaded not guilty and is free on $250,000 bond. Goodson’s family has criticized Meade’s bond as too low, noting that Adam Coy, the Columbus officer who fatally shot and killed Andre Hill in late December 2020, had his bond set at $1 million.