Will Goff stay here or go back to prison?
A week after returning to Lawrence County for the first hearing in her retrial, Megan Goff remains at the Scioto County Jail.
At a pretrial on Jan. 21, visiting judge Fred Crow set bond for Goff at $2.5 million. She must post $250,000 cash, plus $100,000 through a bondsman for a $10,000 fee. There is also an OR bond of $100,000, that requires only her signature. That means Goff has to come up with $260,000 to be released on monitored home confinement.
On Dec. 30, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that Goff’s constitutional rights had been violated during her bench trial before Crow.
Goff, who admitted to shooting her estranged husband at his home on March 18, 2006, had faced aggravated murder charges.
Goff shot her husband 15 times in the head and upper torso. During her trial Goff had offered that she suffered from battered woman syndrome to show that she had acted in self-defense.
Crow found Goff guilty and sentenced her to a minimum of 33 years in prison, which she has been serving at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville.
The county has an annual contract with Scioto County Jail for 10 beds at a daily rate of $48 per bed.
Right now Sheriff Jeff Lawless is looking into the possibility of whether Goff can be returned to Marysville.
“Whether the prison would accept her back,” he said. “Her conviction was overturned and there is the argument that she shouldn’t be in prison. It is certainly a burden.”
Defendants are normally held in county jails until a conviction sends them into a state correctional facility.
Lawless maintains the arrangement with Scioto because of the overcrowding at the Lawrence County Jail. There are 52 beds in the Lawrence jail and as of Thursday afternoon the jail’s census was 73. Six portable beds supplement the beds in the cells with the rest of the inmates on mats on the floor.
“I try to keep 10 prisoners down there at all times,” Lawless said. “Our jail is always above capacity. As inmates are released, we replace them with other inmates.”
If Goff does not post bond or is not returned to Marysville, she will remain at the Scioto jail through her trial, which is set to begin on Aug. 1.