Judge rules on motions in Goff case

Published 10:16 am Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prior testimony could be used against woman

The judge who will preside over the second murder trial of Megan Goff has ruled on several motions presented at a pretrial hearing last month.

Judge Patrick McGrath, sitting by assignment, denied a motion by Goff’s attorneys to exclude Goff’s prior trial testimony “due to ineffectiveness of counsel.” McGrath ruled Goff’s prior trial testimony may be used “for impeachment purposes” during her second trial which is scheduled to begin Aug. 1.

This means if Goff, during her second trial, contradicts what she said during her first trial, she can be questioned about it.

Email newsletter signup

McGrath also ruled, however, that neither side may directly mention in front of the new jury or prospective jurors that Goff had a previous trial and was convicted.

McGrath also ruled that photographs of the victim cannot be automatically excluded from the trial. Attorneys for Megan Goff had asked McGrath to exclude the photographs because they are “gruesome and prejudicial.” McGrath said while he had not yet seen any photographs he will reserve the right to hear objections to photographs at a later date.

Goff was arrested in March 2006 in connection with the shooting death of her estranged husband, Bill Goff at his Hamilton Township home.

He had been shot multiple times. The couple had separated two months before. In her first trial a little more than a year later, Goff contended she acted in self-defense as a result of battered woman’s syndrome.

She was convicted after a bench trial before visiting Judge Fred Crow and sentenced to 33 years in prison. While the Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld her conviction, last year the Ohio Supreme Court overturned it, ruling the testimony of expert witness Dr. Phillip Resnick should not have been allowed in the first trial.

McGrath had previously ruled that Goff could have a jury trial the second time; in spite of her request for a bench trial for her first trial.

He had also ruled against a change of venue, contending that neither side could say with certainty Goff will not get a fair trial until they begin questioning prospective jurors.

Goff remains in the Scioto County Jail under a $2.5 million bond.