Goff seeks new trial from high courtPublished 9:53am Friday, February 22, 2013
Appeal based on five key points
Convicted murderer Megan Goff is again appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court for a new trial.
Goff’s attorney, Paula Brown of Columbus, filed the appeal Feb. 14, a little more than a month after the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld her 2011 murder conviction of her husband Bill Goff.
The new appeal cites five areas of law as reasons for a new trial:
• “A battered woman does not lose her right to occupy the marital residence when she takes temporary refuge from her abusive spouse in order to protect herself and her children;
• “When the defendant and the state agree there is a particularized need to view the grand jury transcript, all of the grand jury proceedings must be recorded; if they are not, the indictment must be dismissed;
• “Ohio should recognize the doctrine of imperfect self-defense to enable a jury to mitigate a purposeful but not premeditated killing to manslaughter when the defendant has an honest but unreasonable belief in the need to use deadly force. This is particularly needed in order to protect battered woman and children;
• “When a court provides a jury with a murder and a manslaughter charge, the court must instruct the jury that even if it finds the State has proven all of the elements of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, it must continue to deliberate to determine whether the defendant proved voluntary manslaughter’s mitigating elements;
• “When former defense counsel marries the state’s lead detective, the detective and the local prosecutor’s office must be disqualified.”
According to Bret Crow, public information officer for the Supreme Court of Ohio, the court has 30 days to file a response to the notice of appeal if Goff’s case will be heard again.
The matter is discretionary since Goff has used her one mandatory appeal allowed by law when the Supreme Court reheard the case in 2011.
“By mid-March you can expect to see a response,” Crow said. “In general, it takes two to three months after that for the court to decided if it will hear the case for a full merit review, which means it would be on track for a bunch more briefings filed by either side and oral argument.”
On March 17, 2006, Goff went to the home of her estranged husband, Bill Goff, in Hanging Rock, and shot him 15 times. Bill Goff died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Megan Goff claimed she acted in self-defense and that she had been abused during their marriage, claiming battered woman’s syndrome.
In May of that year, Goff was convicted of aggravated murder following a bench trial by Visiting Judge Fred Crow, who sentenced her to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 33 years.
That conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of Ohio on the grounds a witness for the prosecution, a psychiatrist, was allowed to testify on issues he should not have and a new trial was ordered.
Goff’s jury trial began in August 2011, and she was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years. Because she used a gun to commit her crime, an automatic three years was added to the 15, making her parole eligibility possible after 18 years.