Former deputy Jason Meade testifies in murder trial: 'I thought he was going to shoot me'

Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade demonstrated on the witness stand Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, how he alleges Casey Goodson Jr. turned and pointed a gun at him, prompting him to shoot Goodson. Meade is on trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for murder and reckless homicide in connection with the shooting death of Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020, at the home where he resided on Estates Place in Columbus' North Linden.

Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade was still being cross-examined on the witness stand when his murder trial broke Tuesday afternoon for the day.

Meade is on trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for murder and reckless homicide in the Dec. 4, 2020, shooting death of 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. at the home where Goodson resided on Estates Place in Columbus' North Linden.

Meade testified Tuesday that he had no other choice but to shoot when Goodson pointed a gun at him for a second time.

"I thought he was going to shoot me," Meade said. "I’m thinking, "I don’t want to die.'"

Goodson's family has said he was carrying sandwiches in one hand and his keys in another while returning home from a dentist's appointment and had earbuds in at the time.

The prosecution rested Tuesday morning and defense witnesses began testimony after Common Pleas Judge David Young denied the defense team's motion to dismiss charges for lack of evidence.

The defense case began Tuesday with news that Goodson's mother warned him earlier in the day of the shooting about a law enforcement presence on the street.

Casey Goodson Jr.
Casey Goodson Jr.

The first defense witness then testified she heard somebody tell Goodson to put his gun down.

But Meade testifying in his own defense was the highlight of testimony on Tuesday.

What did Meade say when he testified on direct examination?

Meade, a SWAT officer with the sheriff's office, was working as a member of the U.S. Marshals Service's fugitive task force on Dec. 4, 2020, serving a search warrant at a house on Estates Place, down the same street from where Goodson lived with his grandmother and which was unrelated to Goodson. After not finding their suspect, task force members left in different vehicles.

As he left, Meade testified that he saw a man later identified as Goodson drive past him while pointing a gun at him in his unmarked truck. Meade said Goodson was holding a pistol, making a "pumping" action and appeared to be saying something.

“It was very clear, I could see the weapon in his hand," Meade said.

Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade demonstrated on the stand Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, how he alleges Casey Goodson Jr. was handling a gun while driving his car. Meade is on trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for murder and reckless homicide in connection with the shooting death of Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020.
Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade demonstrated on the stand Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, how he alleges Casey Goodson Jr. was handling a gun while driving his car. Meade is on trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for murder and reckless homicide in connection with the shooting death of Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020.

Meade said he flinched when Goodson pointed a gun at him and he aired over the radio what he saw to his federal fugitive task force members. According to Meade and videos played at trial, Meade made a U-turn and pursued Goodson down Estates Place. He said he turned on flashing blue and red lights on his truck.

One of Meade's attorneys, Mark Collins, asked, "Why can't you just call it in?"

"I’m a law enforcement officer. It’s my duty to respond. That’s my job," Meade said. "Because the threat that he posed."

Meade said that during his pursuit, he pulled over on Estates Place and retrieved his tactical vest from the vault in his truck bed. He said he saw Goodson down the street, parking on the wrong side of the street and getting out of his car.

“He had a plastic bag in his left hand, and in the right hand, he still had the gun," Meade said. "He saw me and took off."

Meade said he lost sight of Goodson. He said he got back in his truck and drove to the house where he said he saw Goodson duck behind a fence.

Meade said he got out of his truck and repeatedly shouted that he was police and told Goodson to drop his weapon.

The family of Casey Goodson Jr. listens Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, to the testimony of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade during Meade's trial in county Common Pleas Court on murder and reckless homicide charges for the Dec. 4, 2020, shooting death of Goodson.
The family of Casey Goodson Jr. listens Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, to the testimony of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade during Meade's trial in county Common Pleas Court on murder and reckless homicide charges for the Dec. 4, 2020, shooting death of Goodson.

Meade said he stopped just outside the fence and saw Goodson standing with his back to Meade at a side entry door to a house. Goodson had opened the storm door and was trying to enter the house, according to Meade. At that time, Meade said he couldn't see Goodson's hands.

While Meade continued to yell commands, Meade said Goodson dropped his shoulders.

"I thought he was going to surrender. I thought it was going to be over," Meade said. "At which point, he made a turn and pointed a gun back toward me."

That's when Meade said he pulled the trigger on his military-style rifle, sending a burst of bullets at Goodson.

Meade testified that he called over the radio for medics to be sent immediately and proceeded to secure the scene so paramedics could get to Goodson.

Six shots from Meade's rifle struck Goodson, five in the back and one in the side, according to a Franklin County Coroner's report and testimony earlier in the trial. Goodson fell dead into the kitchen of his grandmother's house where he resided. His gun, the safety still on, according to earlier trial testimony, was found next to him on the kitchen floor.

A prosecution witness had testified that the gun Goodson had concealed carry permit to have could have come out of Goodson's holster when he fell forward because there was no restraining strap on it. On cross-examination by the defense, that witness acknowledged that from some 20 feet or more away, where Meade was, he could not have seen whether the safety was on or not.

Defense gets ahead of Meade's comments as a pastor

The defense team tried Tuesday to get ahead of potentially damaging comments Meade had made as a pastor about his use of force on his job. The special prosecutors had indicated they might bring up a recording of Meade, a pastor at Rosedale Free Will Baptist Church, speaking in 2018 to a group of fellow pastors at a conference.

The Dispatch reported in December 2020 about that recording after Goodson's death. In the recording, Meade spoke about the Biblical story of David and Goliath and about how he is justified in throwing the first punch.

Collins asked Meade on the stand about comments he made at that conference. Meade explained, for example, that he said then "I hunt people," in a reference to the TV series "Manhunt," which originally aired from 2017 to 2020.

Listen: Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade gives religious sermon in 2018

Prosecuting attorneys did not bring up the 2018 sermon Tuesday during their cross-examination of Meade, which will resume Wednesday morning.

Prior instances where Meade used force, including several where he received discipline, were not going to be introduced as evidence by the prosecution team during their main case, according to documents filed in the case. However, depending on how testimony in the case proceeds, the prosecution could seek to admit those instances in as evidence as rebuttal following the defense's arguments.

What did Meade say during cross-examination Tuesday?

During cross-examination Tuesday, one of the special prosecutors, Gary Shroyer, asked Meade about differences between his testimony and the statement he gave in the weeks following the shooting. Shroyer said Meade previously stated Goodson's vehicle stopped in the intersection as he pointed a gun, but according to video that wasn't true. Meade admitted he was wrong on that detail.

"You were mistaken as to what the driver of that car was doing," Shroyer said.

"No, he pointed his gun at me," Meade said. "There's no mistaking somebody pointing a gun at you. If anybody ever does it, you'll never forget it."

Shroyer asked Meade if he turned on his sirens, to which Meade said he did the best he could as fast as he could given the situation.

Feb 6, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade testifies in court. Meade is on trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for murder and reckless homicide in connection with the shooting death of Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020.
Feb 6, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade testifies in court. Meade is on trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for murder and reckless homicide in connection with the shooting death of Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020.

Shroyer also asked if Meade considered that the house Goodson was entering could be where he lived given that he was using keys to open the door.

"I (didn't) understand why he parked the wrong way and then he bypassed the entire front of the house and then cut in an open gate. That made me believe this wasn't his place at all," Meade said. "I had no idea or no reason to think that this was his house at all."

There were no eyewitnesses to the actual shooting and Franklin County sheriff's deputies did not at that time have body cameras, so there was no video footage of the shooting. Sheriff Dallas Baldwin and the county commissioners came under criticism over deputies not having body cameras then when Columbus and many other area police departments did.

The county commissioners did not approve a contract to acquire body cameras for each of the county’s more than 560 certified deputy sheriffs and a policy to govern their use until February 2022, and did not begin phasing in the cameras until later that year.

Meade took disability retirement in July 2021 before he was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury in Goodson's death.

Neighbor: All I heard was ‘put your gun down, put your gun down’

The first witness called Tuesday, Feb. 6, by the defense, Sheila Staniford, testified that she lived a few doors down on Estates Place from where Goodson was living on Dec. 4, 2020. She said her husband was driving them home, and they were turning onto Estates Place when she heard someone yelling..

"All I heard was 'put your gun down, put your gun down,'" Staniford said.

Then, Staniford said, she heard gunshots. She said she and her husband didn't see the shooting.

Sheila Staniford, the first witness called by the defense Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in the murder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade, testified that she lived a few doors down on Estates Place from where Casey Goodson Jr. was living on Dec. 4, 2020. She said her husband was driving them home that day and they were turning onto Estates Place when she heard someone yelling, but they didn't see the shooting. "All I heard was ‘put your gun down, put your gun down,’" Staniford testified.

One of the special prosecutors, Gary Shroyer, attempted to poke holes in Staniford's testimony. Shroyer asked her why she told law enforcement after the shooting that she had heard those commands around 11:30 a.m. when prior evidence presented during the trial indicated the shooting happened a little after noon.

Staniford said she may have gotten the exact time wrong.

One of Meade's defense attorneys, Steven Nolder, asked Staniford if she had doubts about what she heard.

"No, there's no doubt in my mind, or I wouldn't be here," she said.

Goodson’s mom warned him about police presence

The defense case began Tuesday, Feb. 6, with one of Meade’s defense attorneys, Mark Collins, reading a stipulation by the parties, or a fact that the prosecution and defense agree on.

Collins told the jury that around 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2020, Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mom, called her son and warned him that law enforcement had surrounded a house elsewhere on Estates Place.

Meade was working as part of a federal fugitive apprehension task force that day serving a search warrant at another house on the street, a matter had nothing to do with Goodson.

Goodson's grandmother had testified last week that Payne called her, and intended to call her son, too, and let him know about the police presence.

When the trial resumes Wednesday morning, special prosecutors will continue to cross-examine Meade. After Meade is done testifying, his defense team can call other witnesses from their list, including another officer who was there and experts on the use of force by officers.

The prosecuting attorneys did not call their law enforcement expert witness before resting, but could call that expert on rebuttal.

What happened Monday, Feb. 5, during the Meade trial?

Minerva Park police officer Seth Pinney, one of several officers who responded to the scene on Dec. 4, 2020, after the shooting, testified Monday that he activated his body camera after responding to the shooting scene.

Former Franklin County Sheriff's SWAT deputy Jason Meade, left, is seen on a Minerva Park police officer's body camera footage on Dec. 4, 2020, after Meade fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. at a side entry door to Goodson's grandmother's house in Columbus' North Linden.
Former Franklin County Sheriff's SWAT deputy Jason Meade, left, is seen on a Minerva Park police officer's body camera footage on Dec. 4, 2020, after Meade fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. at a side entry door to Goodson's grandmother's house in Columbus' North Linden.

Although Pinney testified Monday on behalf of the prosecution about his body camera, the footage was played while Pinney was being cross examined by Meade's attorneys and not by the special prosecutors in the case.

Over the course of 92 seconds of the footage, Meade is seen in the video asking for medics to be brought into the shooting scene.

Meade is seen wearing a bulletproof vest with "US Marshals" on the front and additional law enforcement identification on the back. Meade had been working nearby as an assigned Franklin County Sheriff's representative to the U.S. Marshal's SOFAST task force in an unsuccessful search for a wanted suspect. It was as the members of the task force were done and returning to their vehicles that Meade said Goodson drove by him flashing a gun at him. Meade followed Goodson to the home.

"He came out the street, gun in his hand, going to the side door" of the house, Meade told another officer on bodycam video after the shooting.

Meade is also seen on the footage on his police radio asking for medics to go the home's side door to get best access to Goodson, and telling a woman standing outside who was believed to be Goodson's grandmother that police would get her more information as soon as they could.

The body camera footage also shows several trucks, identified by Pinney as law enforcement vehicles, including the one Meade was driving. One truck was parked in the street with the driver's side door open.

Some vehicles had flashing blue and red lights on them, according to the camera footage.

What did Meade jurors see in trial's first week?

On Friday, prosecutors showed photos from Goodson's autopsy to the jury.

New information: What did we learn from first week of Jason Meade's murder trial for death of Casey Goodson Jr.?

Also last week, Goodson's grandmother and uncle testified on behalf of the prosecution. Jurors are expected to hear from more prosecution witnesses this week.

The Dispatch has been following the trial live. Check back periodically throughout the trial for updates on the ongoing proceedings. You can also get up to speed by reading our previous coverage or in our live blog below.

More on Jason Meade trial: Here's what we learned on day one of prosecution witnesses in Jason Meade's trial

Forensic pathologist discussed Goodson's gunshot wounds

Dr. Anne Shepler, a former deputy coroner at the Franklin County Coroner's office, testified Friday afternoon, Feb. 2, about the six gunshot wounds to Goodson's body.

Members of Goodson's family who were in the courtroom were visibly emotional as photos from the autopsy were shown to jurors.

Relatives of Casey Goodson Jr. react as photos from the 23-year-old's autopsy are shown in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Former Franklin County Sheriff's office deputy Jason Meade is charged with murder and reckless homicide in connection with Goodson's death.
Relatives of Casey Goodson Jr. react as photos from the 23-year-old's autopsy are shown in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Former Franklin County Sheriff's office deputy Jason Meade is charged with murder and reckless homicide in connection with Goodson's death.

Goodson was shot six times, with five of the bullets entering his back.

Shepler said all the gunshot wounds came from an indeterminate range and that the entrance wounds were "atypical" because they had passed through something, like the home's storm door, before striking Goodson.

Shepler's testimony came after a firearms specialist from the FBI testified Friday morning about the trajectories of the bullets in the storm door from the home.

Tamala Payne, Goodson's mother, told The Dispatch after the trial ended for the week Friday that it was difficult to look at pictures of her son on the autopsy table but she's looking forward to next week.

"I had seen a picture before but it was nothing like the pictures that I saw today and it's not easy. It doesn't feel good at all," Payne said. "I'm feeling good. Even though the pictures were hard to see, I just believe that Casey's truth will be told in the courtroom."

Crime scene technician testified

Columbus police Sgt. John Standley, who helped process and collect evidence at the shooting scene, testified Thursday afternoon, Feb. 1, and again Friday morning, Feb. 2.

(From left to right) Special prosecutors Tim Merkle, Josh Shaw and Gary Shroyer stand with the storm door from the home of Casey Goodson Jr.'s grandmother during the testimony of Dr. Anne Shepler, a former Franklin County deputy coroner in the murder trial of Jason Meade.
(From left to right) Special prosecutors Tim Merkle, Josh Shaw and Gary Shroyer stand with the storm door from the home of Casey Goodson Jr.'s grandmother during the testimony of Dr. Anne Shepler, a former Franklin County deputy coroner in the murder trial of Jason Meade.

Standley's testimony Thursday, Feb. 1, included a review of crime scene photos and showing the jury the rifle Meade carried on the day of the shooting and eventually used to shoot Goodson.

Casey Goodson's uncle testified about aftermath of shooting

Ernest Payne Jr., the uncle of Goodson, testified Thursday afternoon, Feb. 1, about several pieces of evidence he said Columbus police, who were leading the investigation into the shooting, left behind.

Goodson's uncle described coming back to the family's home on Estates Place and seeing a bag of Subway sandwiches on the kitchen floor, a face mask and a pair of ear buds on the floor under a microwave that had been knocked onto the floor at some point before his return.

Payne Jr. was shown the ear buds and also shown the storm door of the family's home, which had been removed and taken as evidence. The door, which had not been seen publicly before, had what apparent bullet holes in it.

Members of Casey Goodson Jr.'s family and friends in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for the murder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade, who is facing murder charges for fatally shooting the 23-year-old Goodson on Feb. 4, 2020, outside his grandmother's house in North Linden.
Members of Casey Goodson Jr.'s family and friends in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for the murder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade, who is facing murder charges for fatally shooting the 23-year-old Goodson on Feb. 4, 2020, outside his grandmother's house in North Linden.

Goodson's uncle also described hearing gunshots at the family home, coming out of his bedroom and being met by a police officer with a firearm. Payne Jr. described being told to get on the ground while holding his daughter and then being told to go outside.

After going out the front door, he described seeing a "yard full of police with guns drawn," and being told to get out of the line of fire. His daughter, who had scraped her arm prior to the shooting, was bleeding and he was checked out by a paramedic who was on the scene, Payne Jr. testified.

A Columbus police officer who responded to the scene after the shooting also testified Thursday afternoon.

Casey Goodson's grandmother testified about day of shooting

The prosecution's first witness was Goodson's grandmother, Sharon Payne, who was at the Estates Place home where Goodson was shot.

During her testimony Thursday, Feb. 1,, the defense showed her a photograph of Goodson that was posted on his social media accounts, showing him holding a gun while in the front seat of a vehicle.

Sharon Payne, left, grandmother of Casey Goodson Jr., testifying Thursday, Feb, 1, 2024, in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in the muder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade.
Sharon Payne, left, grandmother of Casey Goodson Jr., testifying Thursday, Feb, 1, 2024, in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in the muder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade.

"There's no doubt that's my grandson," Payne said.

"In a car?" Steven Nolder, one of Meade's attorneys, asked.

"Yes," Payne said.

"And that's a gun?," Nolder asked.

"Yes," Payne said.

Goodson carried a gun with him almost every time he left the house, Payne testified, and when he was driving, the gun would either be in his holster on his waistband or, on one occasion, was in the console in the front seat. However, Payne said the photograph was not from when she was in the vehicle with him.

Goodson had a concealed carry permit and was legally able to own a weapon in Ohio.

When asked questions by Meade's attorney, Payne acknowledged that her daughter, Goodson's mother, told her hours before the shooting that police were in the area. Payne said her daughter said she planned to warn Goodson that police were nearby.

Payne's testimony resulted in several objections from Meade's attorneys, particularly when Payne spoke about police shootings of Black people. The objection from the defense cut Payne off and resulted in attorneys for both sides speaking with Judge David Young out of the jury's earshot.

On the day of the shooting, Payne said she was in her bedroom when she heard a loud noise like a chandelier crashing after another loud noise that she later learned were gunshots.

On direct examination, Payne said she ran out of her room and saw her son, who also lived with her, sitting on the living room floor at gunpoint and he tried to drag her to the floor to avoid being shot. Moments later, Payne said she didn't register anyone else in the home and called 911.

Payne said when she was told later there was a law enforcement officer in the home she had been next to, she said she didn't remember.

"I saw Casey and I heard a whole bunch of screaming and hollering," Payne said.

Goodson's sister, Janae Jones, also testified Thursday morning, Feb, 1, in the case. Jones was also at the home when the shooting occurred.

Jones said after first being told by other officers at the scene to leave the area of the home where Goodson was, she went back out and began trying to take video.

"At this time, I kind of figured it was the police (who shot Goodson)," Jones testified.

Supporters of Casey Goodson Jr. pray for justice in a hallway at the Franklin County Courthouse near the courtroom where former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade is on trial for murder for fatally shooting the 23-year-old Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020 at his grandmother's house in North Linden.
Supporters of Casey Goodson Jr. pray for justice in a hallway at the Franklin County Courthouse near the courtroom where former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade is on trial for murder for fatally shooting the 23-year-old Goodson on Dec. 4, 2020 at his grandmother's house in North Linden.

More: Opening statements: prosecution, defense argue if Jason Meade was justified

How do I watch the Jason Meade trial?

The Franklin County Common Pleas Court is equipped with cameras in each courtroom that provide the ability to live stream proceedings.

The stream for Judge David Young's courtroom can be found here.

The judge controls the live stream from the bench, and the feed is only on when court is in session. The judge can also control whether some evidence, such as photos that may be graphic or sensitive, are shown to the public and streamed.

Meade shot him six times, with five of the bullets striking him in his back.

More on the Casey Goodson Jr. case: With jury chosen, opening statements set Wednesday in ex-deputy Jason Meade's murder trial

Meade has since taken retirement from the sheriff's office.

There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting and sheriff's deputies did not have body cameras at the time, so there is no video footage of the incident.

A sign demanding "Justice for Casey" sits outside Goodson's grandmother's home in Columbus' North Linden neighborhood.
A sign demanding "Justice for Casey" sits outside Goodson's grandmother's home in Columbus' North Linden neighborhood.

Did Casey Goodson Jr. have a gun?

According to what was said by attorneys in opening statements of the trial on Wednesday, Goodson had a firearm at the time he was fatally shot. The handgun with an extended magazine was found on the floor, within arm's reach of where Goodson fell after being shot, according to Meade's defense attorney, Kaitlyn Stephens, not in a holster.

Special prosecutor Gary Shroyer said a holster was in Goodson's waistband and the handgun's safety was engaged, indicating the gun had not been fired.

What did Jason Meade's defense say in opening statements?

Jason Meade saw a man with a handgun that had an extended magazine in it waving the gun animatedly inside a vehicle at the intersection of Karl Road and Ferris Road on Dec. 4, 2020.

Meade followed the vehicle and saw a man with a gun in his right hand, see Meade and take off running toward the side door of a home.

"All Jason knows at this time is this gunman pointed a gun at him, took off running and is trying to get into this house," Kaitlyn Stephens said. "He pointed it a second time while trying to get into the house."

Kaitlyn Stephens, a member of the defense team for former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade, delivers the defense opening statement Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 at Meade's trial on murder charges in the Dec. 4, 2020, shooting death of 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr.
Kaitlyn Stephens, a member of the defense team for former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade, delivers the defense opening statement Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 at Meade's trial on murder charges in the Dec. 4, 2020, shooting death of 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr.

Stephens said Meade gave Goodson multiple commands to drop his weapon, heard by a neighbor, that Goodson didn't obey. When Goodson pointed the weapon a second time at Meade, Stephens said, he pulled the trigger of his rifle a single time.

Because the rifle was set to automatic fire, the gun fired six bullets rapidly despite only trigger pull.

"With the benefit of hindsight, nobody in this courtroom disputes what a tragedy this is," Stephens said.

However, Stephens said Goodson being seen waving a gun inside a vehicle, near a school and running through a neighborhood required Meade to investigate further.

She said Meade radioed to his teammates on the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Task Force about the vehicle, his location and where the suspect, identified as Goodson, was headed. Meade's unmarked truck was equipped with safety lights, which he activated while following Goodson, Stephens said.

Meade's attorney also noted that Goodson's gun was found on the floor, within arm's reach and not in a holster after the shooting.

Stephens said prosecutors will not call Meade's fellow officers who were on the scene moments after the shooting because they had followed him after Goodson. She said the defense team will call them in Meade's defense. Stephens said prosecutors started with a premise, that the shooting was unjustified, and worked backwards, instead of investigating the case and looking at it reasonably.

"It is every officer's worst nightmare to stare down the barrel of a gun," Stephens said. "This was an actual threat. This fact is uncontroverted, the fact that Casey Goodson was armed on Dec. 4, 2020."

Defense attorneys will have to prove to the jury that Meade's choice to use deadly force was objectively reasonable in the eyes of a police officer standing in Meade's shoes, without hindsight.

"You have to look at it from this perspective. The law does not say you must put yourself in Mr. Goodson's place that day," Stephens said. "If Jason Meade believes that gun was pointed at him, if he saw that gun pointed at him, then this decision to use deadly force was reasonable and justified."

What did special prosecutor Gary Shroyer say in his opening statement?

For the first time Wednesday, prosecutors publicly said where a firearm owned by Casey Goodson Jr. was found after he was shot by Jason Meade.

Special prosecutor Gary Shroyer said in his opening statement that Goodson's handgun, with the safety still engaged, was found on the kitchen floor. He also said Goodson had a holster that did not have a strap that was found on Goodson's waist.

Franklin County special prosecutor Gary Shroyer makes his opening statement Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, in the murder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade for the December 2020 shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr., 23, of Columbus' North Linden.
Franklin County special prosecutor Gary Shroyer makes his opening statement Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, in the murder trial of former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade for the December 2020 shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr., 23, of Columbus' North Linden.

"It's an unjustified shooting," Shroyer said.

As part of his opening statement to the jury Wednesday morning, Shroyer laid out the evidence in the case. Shroyer said surveillance video from the intersection of Karl and Ferris Roads, near where Goodson's grandmother's home is, shows the moment when Goodson and Meade, who was in a truck, first see each other.

Shroyer emphasized that Goodson was carrying keys and a bag of Subway sandwiches. He said Meade had made a turn and pursued Goodson, using an assault style rifle that was equipped with a laser sight to shoot Goodson six times.

"All the shots passed through the storm door," Shroyer said. "His back is toward the defendant."

Shroyer said Goodson fell on the kitchen floor after being shot while members of his family were inside.

"Face down in the kitchen, palms down on the floor, his Airpods in his ears, Subway sandwiches on the floor, Casey's keys hanging in the door," Shroyer said.

Shroyer argued Meade's aiming, pointing and shooting his weapon meet the elements of intentionally and knowingly causing Goodson's death, which is what is necessary for prosecutors to prove to obtain a murder conviction.

"Casey did not pose a reasonable threat to him or anybody else at the moment when he pulled the trigger," Shroyer said.

Shroyer said Meade was captured on the body camera of another officer who responded to the scene after the shooting saying Goodson was going into the door with a gun in his hand.

"What he didn't say was he was afraid, 'I was in fear of my life,' or 'I was in fear for somebody else's life,'" Shroyer said. "Silence speaks louder than words."

Jury selection concluded Tuesday, Jan. 30

On what would have been Goodson's 27th birthday Tuesday, Judge David Young swore in twelve jurors and four alternates. The jury is made up of four men and eight women. All the jurors appear white with one Black man serving as an alternate.

Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday morning. After that, the jury will be taken Wednesday afternoon to see the North Linden home of Goodson's grandmother, where Meade shot Goodson as he attempted to enter the home through a side kitchen door. The first witnesses in the case will be called on Thursday.

How did jury selection work?

A special pool of more than 100 jurors came in Monday for questioning from attorneys in the case. These potential jurors, randomly selected from registered voters in Franklin County, filled out questionnaires the previous week asking them about various issues that may become relevant to the case.

Jurors were brought into the courtroom individually on Monday morning to answer follow-up questions based on their questionnaires. Common Pleas Court Judge David Young, presiding over the case, dismissed individuals for cause if he determined they were unlikely to remain unbiased in the case or otherwise unsuitable to sit on the jury.

Jurors could be determined unsuitable because of medical conditions, conflicts with work or their personal lives, or other situations that could keep them from being able to attend and pay attention to what is expected to be a two-week trial.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the pool was whittled down to around 50 potential jurors who were being asked questions focused on how they would determine the credibility of witnesses and whether they would believe a statement given immediately after an incident or one given later.

Jury asked thoughts on Black Lives Matter, social justice

The 99-question juror questionnaire, obtained by The Dispatch, included simple demographic questions about age and gender, as well as questions about their political leanings and how much they may already know about the case from the news or social media.

Questions included:

  • This case has received pre-trial publicity. Have you watched, read, or heard any accounts of this case?

  • From what you have seen, read, or heard, do you have a general impression of Jason Meade?

  • There are a number of social justice groups like "Black Lives Matter" and Justice, Unity and Social Transformation (JUST). Are you familiar with any of these types of groups?

  • Have you attended, participated, or counter-protested at any rallies or events put on by any such groups (social justice groups)?

  • What are your feelings about "Blue Lives Matter" and other support groups for officers involved in shootings of civilians?

Special prosecutors Gary Shroyer, Tim Merkle and Montgomery County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Josh Shaw and Meade's attorneys Mark Collins, Kaitlyn Stephens and Steven Nolder questioned the jurors to determine who each side feels is the best to decide the case.

After questioning the larger jury pool in a process called voir dire, a final group of 12 jurors was selected, with two alternates.

The jury will decide whether Meade's actions on Dec. 4, 2020, were reasonable or unreasonable. Jurors in cases involving police force are asked to review the incident without using hindsight, looking at only what the law enforcement personnel knew at the moment the force, in this case Goodson's shooting, took place.

Here are some of The Dispatch's prior stories on the case .

What to know: Ex-deputy Jason Meade's murder trial is starting. Here's what to know about 2020 shooting

Shooting occurred in December 2020: What we know about the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. by a Franklin County deputy

The Go-Tos: Who is the lawyer for Columbus-area cops in trouble? Collins has been go-to for decades

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Jason Meade testifies in his murder trial for Casey Goodson shooting