A former Ohio sheriff’s deputy was indicted on murder charges Thursday in the death of a Black man who was shot in the back multiple times last year at the doorstep of his grandmother’s home.
Michael “Jason” Meade, who was a 17-year veteran with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, was indicted on two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide, according to county court records.
The Franklin County coroner said in March that Goodson was shot five times in the back.
The case drew national attention because of glaring unanswered questions. Police said no videos captured the shooting or what preceded it. It also drew outrage from activists and Black community leaders because of other deadly shootings of Black men in Columbus in the past five years.
Meade, who is white and was working with a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force, “reported witnessing a man with a gun,” Columbus police said. The shooting followed a “verbal exchange” between Meade and Goodson, police said.
“The deputy was investigating the situation and there are reports of a verbal exchange. The deputy fired at Mr. Casey Goodson, resulting in his death,” according to a sheriff’s statement. A gun was recovered from Goodson, who was not the person the marshals task force was seeking, officials said.
The Goodson family's attorney, Sean Walton, said in a statement after the shooting that Goodson was licensed to carry a concealed gun and that “Ohio does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms.”
Federal prosecutors announced last year that they were reviewing Goodson’s death to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbus, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the FBI in Cincinnati and Columbus police were conducting the probe. Federal officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Meade’s attorney, Mark C. Collins, said Thursday that he turned his client in to authorities Thursday morning. Meade was jailed in the county facility. He is scheduled to appear in court Friday, and not guilty pleas will be entered on his behalf, Collins said.
“We are going to litigate this case in a matter to ensure that all stones are turned over and our client gets the due process he’s due under the Constitution,” Collins said.
Collins said Meade, 50, conducted himself lawfully based on his training.
“We believe that his actions, based on the totality of the situation ... based on his training and directives, that he acted in accordance with that and it was proper use of force,” Collins said.
The case is being handled by a special prosecutor, Collins and authorities said Thursday.
Walton, the Goodson family attorney, said Thursday that evidence will prove that Meade is guilty of homicide.
"It's been a long, hard road to get to this point. And it should have come a lot sooner," he said. "But the facts and the evidence have remained the same since December 4th, 2020. All that evidence points to Jason Meade murdering Casey Goodson."
NBC affiliate WCMH of Columbus reported that Meade was granted disability retirement and left the sheriff’s office in June.
He served with the Marines in Iraq, WCMH reported.
According to his personnel file, he had been a member of the SWAT unit since 2014, and he was one of several deputies who shot at an armed murder suspect in Pike County in 2018, killing the person. A grand jury cleared the deputies of wrongdoing. Meade was also once reprimanded for using his Taser and failing to notify a supervisor, WCMH reported.
Goodson, a former truck driver who had recently turned to retail work, was returning from a dentist’s appointment to his grandmother’s home in Columbus, where he lived, when he was shot in the doorway after a verbal exchange, Walton has said.
Goodson was entering the home when he was killed in front of his grandmother and two toddlers, Walton said.