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Goff gets chance before Ohio Supreme Court

A former Hamilton Township resident convicted of killing her estranged husband will have parts of her appeal heard by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Megan Goff is serving a 33 year sentence in the death of Bill Goff, who was shot 15 times in the head and upper chest at his home in March 2006. Megan Goff was arrested at the scene. She claimed the shooting was in self defense after years of domestic abuse.

During a bench trial the following year, visiting Judge Fred Crow rejected the claim of self defense and found her guilty of aggravated murder. Goff appealed her conviction but in September 2009 the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals denied all nine of her assignments of error — mistakes she said were made during her trial that should afford her a new one.

Last week in a 4-3 vote, the state’s highest court agreed to hear arguments on three of those assignments of error.

In her first assignment of error, Goff contends she was subjected to self-incrimination because she was ordered to submit to a psychiatric examination arranged by the prosecution to prove she suffered from battered woman’s syndrome

Goff also contends that the trial court erred when it ruled she had a duty to retreat and that evidence regarding battered woman’s syndrome was only relevant to the imminent harm element of self-defense.

In her third assignment of error, Goff contends the trial court erred when it failed to control Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Bob Anderson, whom she said led witnesses and “repeatedly crossed the line of adversarial representation.”

No date has yet been set for the Supreme Court to hear arguments in the case. Anderson said while the Supreme Court has decided to hear three arguments in the Goff case, it does not necessarily mean she will get a new trial.

“When they decide to hear it, it doesn’t mean they will overrule it but that it may be something they need to make a statement on,” Anderson said.

Goff’s attorney, Paula Brown, of Kravitz, Brown and Dortch, of Columbus, was not immediately available for comment.

Goff is serving her sentence at the state’s correctional facility for women in Marysville.