How it Happened

About 7PM Memorial Day I received a hysterical call from my 19 year old Daughter. My youngest Daughter called me from her cell phone to tell me that several minutes earlier my oldest Daughter was shot and killed while taking my Son to deliver his child back to it's mother. My oldest Daughter's body still laid in the street while she informing me what had just happened. She along with my 22 year old Son were visiting my oldest Daughter in High Point North Carolina. My wife's family is from High Point and my oldest Daughter moved down there about 3 years prior. My Son also briefly lived in North Carolina , during which time he got a girl pregnant. He moved back to New Jersey after about a year. My Son was the target of his Child's Mother's boyfriend. But it was my oldest Daughter that ended up dying. My Daughter's killer approached my Son just outside the home while my Son and Daughter were returning to her car. He started poking my Son in the head with a 9mm handgun while he shouted profanities at my Son to get on his knees. My Daughter against her Brothers wishes first begged her murderer to leave my Son alone and then they all got in a scuffle that led to the shooting. My wife and I rushed to North Carolina that evening, a 9 hour drive. We made arrangements to have our Daughter's remains sent home and we brought her 8 year and 22 month old children home with us since my Daughter was a single mother. We will work towards adopting the children. It is hard to accept. I know in time things will be better. My Daughter was a good person. She was a loving and protective mother. She was taken away by a 20 year old thug who has a rap sheet a mile long including gun and robbery charges. He was apprehended and charged with murder among other charges. This is one of those things you read in the paper or see on TV. I never thought it would happen in my family. Though a single mom, my Daughter worked full time and attended college part time slowing working towards her degree. She never did drugs or smoked. She did not deserve to die so senselessly. she would have been 27 on the 26th of June. 

Court Decision

On March 13, 2001, Leroy Goodwin, the animal who murdered my Daughter made a plea agreement in the North Carolina Courts that would allow him to serve only 8 to 10 years. The charges were downgraded from First Degree Murder to Voluntary Manslaughter. The Prosecutor told me  he was concerned that a Jury would not look favorably on the fact that my Daughter also was in possession of a handgun. He said he was concerned that Goodwin might walk on the self defense strategy that his Court appointed Attorney was working on. There was no denying that my Daughter was in possession of a concealed handgun that she carried for protection because of harassment by someone else. Many women throughout this nation carry concealed handguns for protection. But Goodwin instigated the entire situation that led up to my Daughter's death. They were only returning my Son's child to it's mother. My Son had fathered a child in North Carolina while he temporarily lived down there. He has since moved back to New Jersey but would travel back to North Carolina occasionally to visit his Sister and Child. They were only at the child's mother's house for a few short minutes, a stop made on the way to the Bus station so my Son and younger Daughter along with a 5 year old Niece could catch a bus back to New Jersey.

I do not know if the Prosecutor was sincere in his concern that a Jury may set Goodwin free or if it was just another situation of a court system trying to save time and resources by accepting a plea agreement for someone who killed just another Black person. My wife and I told the Prosecutor that we were completely opposed to any plea bargaining. He told us he would inform us of his decision before Goodwin's hearing. He didn't keep his word because the first time we found out about the Plea Agreement and sentencing was when a reporter from a High Point newspaper called me to ask me how I felt about it. I have never heard from the Prosecutor again. You can read the interview by telephone I gave to Reporter on the News Article Link on the home page of this site.