Carter pleads guilty to bank robbery

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

A Greenup County woman pleaded guilty to robbing an Ironton bank in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.

Natalie Carter, 28, told Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton Wednesday she was guilty of robbing the US Bank at Third and Jones streets March 7.

Walton indicated he is likely to sentence Carter to three years in prison but withheld sentencing until her alleged cohort, Willis Cochran is apprehended.

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“My intension is, if the defendant testifies against her co-conspirator in the case, the court will consider that,” Walton said. … “But if the defendant suddenly gets amnesia, an entire range of sentences is available to the court.”

Cochran remains at large. He is charged with complicity to robbery. Carter was arrested two weeks after the robbery at a residence on Coryville Road.

Also Wednesday, Walton agreed to allow Megan Goff — charged with killing her estranged husband Bill Goff — to post 10 percent of her $2.5 million bond and agreed the percentage may be cash or property, thus making her release from jail more likely.

But he stipulated she must be placed on home confinement while she awaits her day in court.

Goff agreed to the home confinement and said she plans to live with her father at his residence in Hamilton Township.

Walton also allowed Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. to seek an independent psychiatric evaluation for Goff, in spite of opposition from her attorney, Marty Stillpass, who argued there is no justification for it.

Stillpass said that although he does plan to argue that the Goff murder is the result of battered woman’s syndrome, this does not mean she is mentally ill.

“When we establish defense, we are not putting the defendant’s state of mind in dispute, we are merely educating the jury as to what battered woman’s syndrome is,” Stillpass said.

Collier disagreed.

“If he is going to put the defendant’s state of mind at issue and use a psychiatric test in support of that then we have the right to rebut it,” Collier said.

Walton sided with Collier.

“There is no such thing as battered woman’s syndrome,” Walton said. … “If you don’t talk about state of mind, there is no self-defense, there is no anything.”

The trial date, originally scheduled for June 5, is being postponed to allow for additional preparation. Walton said it is likely now that the trial will take place in early July.

Goff is accused of shooting her husband, Bill Goff, multiple times March 18 at his Hamilton Township residence.

The couple separated in January after she filed a domestic violence charge against him.

Although Bill Goff was arrested in the January incident, Collier later said his office was considering dismissing the charge against him because there did not appear to be evidence to support it, a decision to which Stillpass has objected.