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Goff denied clemency

Ohio Parole Board Authority votes 8-0 against community her sentence

Megan Goff, who is currently serving a life sentence in the 2006 shooting death of her husband, has been denied clemency.

On Aug. 27, Goff went before the Ohio Parole Board and asked for commutation, which is to end her sentence and let her out of prison. She has served 11 years.

At her second trial in 2011, Goff was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 18 years, which is a sentence set by state law: life with the possibility of parole after 15 years, plus an additional three years for using a gun to commit the crime.

After the hearing, the Ohio Parole Board Authority made a recommendation to the governor on the matter.

“It was an 8-0 vote against recommending clemency,” said Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson. He was an assistant Lawrence County prosecutor when he tried the cases against Goff. He was elected county prosecutor in 2012. “We are happy with the decision. We felt that it was important enough for me and Lawrence County Sheriff’s investigator Aaron  Bollinger to argue on behalf of the state why she should not be granted clemency.”

At the hearing, Anderson said he was adamantly against the commutation of her sentence because, in her application for clemency, she said she had battered woman’s syndrome, which was her defense in her 2006 trial. He said that under cross-examination at that trial, she said her husband never physically struck her.

Anderson said Goff had numerous witnesses testify and she testified as well.

“The board wrote a lengthy opinion as to why she should not be granted clemency at this time and basically, found to grant clemency would demean the serious nature of this offense.

I feel that was accurate, I feel that is exactly what they should do and that is what we asked them to do when we met.”

Goff was arrested in March 2006 in connection with the shooting death of her estranged husband, Bill Goff, at his Hamilton Township home. The couple had separated two months before the shooting.

Goff was found guilty twice in two different trials.

“She shot him 14 times and he was unarmed,” Anderson said, adding she had brought a .9 mm handgun and a .40 caliber handgun with her.

In her first trial, 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, in 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court overturned it, ruling the testimony of expert witness Dr. Phillip Resnick should not have been allowed in the first trial.

In August 2011, a Lawrence County Common Pleas Jury convicted her of a lesser charge of murder, as opposed to aggravated murder or, a third option, voluntary manslaughter.

She is currently being held in Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. She is not eligible for parole until 2025.