COLUMBUS, Ohio — A judge has denied a former Franklin County sheriff’s deputy’s request to move his murder trial to federal court.
Jason Meade pleaded not guilty in December to charges of murder and reckless homicide for the death of Casey Goodson Jr.
A 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, Meade was finishing up an unsuccessful search for a fugitive with the U.S. Marshals Office Fugitive Task Force when he fatally shot Goodson, who was not the subject of the search.
Attorneys for Meade have argued that, as a member of a U.S. Marshals Service task force, Meade was operating as a federal agent at the time of the shooting.
U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin said Meade was “not performing a mission” for the marshals when the incident took place. Tobin also initially said Meade confronted Goodson after he drove by and waved a gun at the deputy, but later withdrew those comments, saying they were based on “insufficient information.”
In the judge's ruling filed Thursday, he found Meade wasn't acting in his role as a deputized federal agent at the time of the shooting.
"Meade’s only authority to arrest Goodson came from his state authority as a deputy sheriff to enforce state law. This case is properly tried in state court."
Attorney Mark Collins, who is representing Meade, said they will determine if they will appeal the decision. He added they are looking forward to the trial regardless of where it takes place.
Records show Meade confronted Goodson outside of his vehicle in front of his grandmother's home. A witness said Meade told Goodson to drop his gun. When he didn't, Meade fatally shot him.
An autopsy report showed Goodson was shot five times in the back and once in the buttocks.
Meade’s bond was set at $250,000; an amount a lawyer for the Goodson family has criticized as being too low given the circumstances. Meade was later released from jail after posting bond.
Statement from Sean Walton on behalf of the family of Casey Goodson, Jr.
"This decision is one that we fully expected and we are grateful that it was made quickly. Jason Meade was not acting as a US Marshal at the time he murdered Casey Goodson, Jr. He was very clearly operating within his authority as a Franklin County sheriff's deputy. Casey was a resident of Franklin County, he was killed in Franklin County, and his death was caused by a sheriff's deputy who swore an oath to protect and serve the people of this community. The facts of this criminal case should be heard and decided by a Franklin County jury. At the same time, we will continue aggressively pursuing accountability through our federal civil rights lawsuit against Jason Meade as well as Franklin County for their role in enabling Meade to hunt and kill Casey that day."