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Judge declares mistrial in former Ohio deputy’s murder case over fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr.

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(FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio) — A judge declared a mistrial for the second time Friday in the murder trial of a former Ohio deputy Jason Meade, who was charged with two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide in the 2020 shooting death of 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr.

On Friday morning, the last remaining alternate juror was brought in, one day after the jury was originally given the case. Hours later, Franklin Court of Common Pleas Judge David Young declared a mistrial after multiple questions from the jury on whether they could reach a verdict on one charge but be hung on another, and whether justification applied to one or all counts.

In an unexpected move, the judge then rescinded the mistrial minutes later and asked the jury to continue deliberating. Hours later, the jury informed they judge they could not reach a verdict. Young again declared a mistrial and excused the jury. A new date for the trial remains to be announced.

Meade, a former deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, had faced up to life in prison after a grand jury charged him in December 2021 in connection with the shooting, a year after Goodson’s death.

On Dec. 4, 2020, the then-Franklin County deputy was working with the U.S. Marshals Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST) in Columbus searching for a wanted fugitive. Meade testified that he spotted Goodson inside a black hatchback and saw him waving a gun while driving. He said Goodson eventually pointed the gun at him. The ex-deputy then followed Goodson to his grandmother’s house, where he lived.

During cross examination, special prosecutor Gary Shroyer asked Meade if maybe he’d been mistaken about Goodson pointing a gun at him.

“There’s no mistaking somebody pointing a gun at you. If anybody ever does it, you’ll never forget it,” Meade responded.

Meade testified that as Goodson approached the home, he shouted commands at Goodson to drop his weapon but Goodson was non-compliant. The prosecution argued that the 23-year-old did not hear the commands because he was listening to music and had headphones in his ears.

During his testimony, Ernest Payne Jr, Goodson’s uncle, said he found a bloody pair of headphones while he was cleaning when the family was allowed back in the house after police had processed the crime scene. An exhibit submitted by the prosecution of a crime scene photo shown during the trial showed the headphones were near Goodson’s gun. Sontino Williams, a detective with the Columbus Police Crime Scene Search Unit, testified that he was told not to process the headphones as evidence.

During his testimony, Meade demonstrated for the jury how Goodson was standing in front of the home’s side door and made a turning motion towards him, pointing his gun at the deputy. Meade then opened fire, shooting Goodson.

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office found that Goodson had been shot six times from behind, including five times in his back.

The prosecution said Goodson was holding a bag of sandwiches in one hand as he used the other to open the door to the house. Goodson’s gun, which his family said he carried with him, was found in his possession with the safety on, according to police. Goodson was a legal gun owner and had a concealed carry permit, which was found in his wallet, according to police.

No body camera video of the incident exists because Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies were not issued body-worn camera equipment at the time.

Meade’s defense team argued that Meade’s actions were in line with his law enforcement training and he responded to what he perceived to be a high threat.

“‘He had to stop the threat’,” special prosecutor Tim Merkle said during closing statements. “What threat? There was no threat.”

During the defense’s closing arguments, Mark Collins told the jury that “this isn’t about why somebody did something.”

“This is about actions perceived,” Collins said. “Things that are looked at, in my client’s shoes.”

Meade was placed on administrative leave following the shooting. In June 2021, he retired after 17 years with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

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