An Ohio judge declared a mistrial in the shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr. at the hands of a former sheriff’s deputy after the jury failed to reach a verdict, ending a tumultuous trial that saw the dismissal of four members of the jury.
Jason Meade was charged with murder and manslaughter in the December 2020 killing of Goodson Jr. in Columbus.
Meade, who is white, shot Goodson six times, including five in the back, as the 23-year-old man tried to enter his grandmother’s house.
Judge David Young had already declared a mistrial Friday morning, but he backtracked minutes later and praised the jurors for their hard work.
The jurors came to Young again to tell him they couldn’t agree, and he ordered them to keep trying. He declared a final mistrial about two hours later, when jurors, some of whom were crying, said they were deadlocked.
Jason Meade, was charged with murder and manslaughter for the December 2020 killing of Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus. He appeared Friday morning in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus, Ohio.
Casey Goodson, Jr., 23, was shot six times, including five in the back, while trying to enter his grandmother’s house on December 4, 2020.
Former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade was charged with murder and manslaughter in the fatal shooting.
Young will meet with prosecutors and defense attorneys in the near future to decide how to proceed with the case, but it was unclear Friday when that would happen.
Sean Walton, an attorney for the Goodson family, told reporters that while the mistrial was a mistrial, there were still jurors who clearly considered all the evidence and thought Meade was guilty.
“There were jurors who obviously felt that Jason Meade was responsible for the unjustifiable murder of Casey Goodson. And that should be a statement,” Walton said.
Walton said the nearly four years since Goodson was murdered have been a “rollercoaster of extremes” for his family.
Meade’s attorney, Mark Collins, expressed gratitude for how hard the jurors worked to be “as fair and impartial as possible” and said he and Meade are “ready to go” if a second trial is scheduled.
“This is just the first step in the process,” Collins said.
The special prosecutors who handled the case did not comment before leaving the courthouse.
Franklin County Prosecutor G. Gary Tyack’s office issued a news release saying their thoughts are with the Goodson family and they will decide whether to retry the case after a review.
The jurors also left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.
Meade testified that Goodson pointed a gun at him when the two crossed paths, so he chased Goodson because he feared for his life and the lives of others.
He said he eventually shot Goodson at the door of his grandmother’s house because the young man turned on him with a gun.
Goodson’s family and prosecutors have said he was holding a bag of sandwiches in one hand and his keys in the other when he was fatally shot. They do not dispute that Goodson could have carried a weapon and point out that he had a license to carry a firearm.
Goodson’s gun was found on the floor of his grandmother’s kitchen with the safety mechanism on.
There is no body camera video of the shooting and prosecutors repeatedly claimed that Meade is the only person who testified that Goodson was holding a gun. Meade was not wearing a body camera.
Attorney Sean Walton speaks to the media on behalf of the family of Casey Goodson Jr. after a mistrial was declared in his murder trial on Friday.
Defense attorney Mark Collins speaks to reporters while co-counsel Kaitlyn Stephens stands nearby
During closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutors said Meade’s claims that Goodson posed a threat simply were not credible. Defense attorneys insisted that the evidence in the case matched Meade’s testimony.
The jury was restless throughout the trial.
One juror was dismissed and an alternate was elevated to the main panel during testimony, and three other jurors were dismissed and replaced by alternates during deliberations, forcing the jury to restart several times.
Court officials did not say why jurors were dismissed, but they can be dismissed for a variety of reasons, including if they become ill, investigate the case outside the deliberation room or discuss the matter with someone outside the courtroom.