COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The wrongful death lawsuit against an Ohio sheriff’s deputy in the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. should be delayed until after the murder case against the deputy is concluded, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Defendant Jason Meade, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to murder and reckless homicide in the late 2020 death of 23-year-old Goodson, who was Black. The sheriff's deputy shot Goodson as he entered his grandmother’s house, police have said.
A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by Goodson’s family and is seeking unspecific damages. It alleges that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office failed to investigate claims of unreasonable force against Black residents and failed to properly train deputies on firing guns at civilians, “particularly at African Americans.”
Meade argued that defending both the civil lawsuit and the criminal charges at the same time would put him in a no-win situation, and Judge Michael Watson agreed.
Meade could invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination in the civil lawsuit, risking a negative outcome, or testify, and “thereby risk incriminating himself for purposes of the criminal trial," Watson said.
A message was left for the attorney representing Goodson's family.