A former Ohio sheriff's deputy was indicted on murder charges Thursday for fatally shooting a Black man outside his family's home near Columbus last year. Details of the shooting, which led to widespread protests over police brutality, have largely remained unclear due to the lack of witnesses, surveillance videos, or body camera footage.
Jason Meade, 44, was indicted Thursday on two charges of murder and one count of reckless homicide in the December 2020 death of Casey Goodson Jr. Meade retired from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in July.
At the time of the shooting, US Marshal Peter Tobin said that Meade, a 17-year veteran with the sheriff's office, was executing a search for a suspect in the area as part of a US Marshal's task force. Goodson was not the suspect that the task force was looking for and was not the target of any investigation, authorities said.
Tobin initially said Meade saw Goodson waving a gun from his car, but later walked back on those comments saying they had been based on "insufficient information," according to the Associated Press.
According to authorities, Meade followed Goodson to his home where he allegedly ordered the 23-year-old man to drop his weapon. When Goodson allegedly refused to comply, Meade shot Goodson a total of six times. Authorities said that a gun was recovered from the scene, but they have not said where the weapon was found. Goodson was licensed to carry a firearm.
His family has raised questions about the shooting, saying that Goodson was entering his grandmother's house at the time he was shot, and that he was carrying a Subway sandwich, not a gun.
Goodson's sister, Sani Payne, told BuzzFeed News last year that Goodson had been shot as he was walking through a side door of the house, causing him to fall bloodied onto the kitchen floor.
Goodson's uncle, grandmother, sister, 5-year-old brother, and young cousins were in the home at the time.
Sean Walton, an attorney hired by the Goodson family, said last year that family members who saw Goodson's body didn't see a firearm near it. They said Goodson was carrying a sandwich and had left his keys in the metal screen door of the kitchen.
"It's not enough at this point to just tell us [Goodson] is accused of waving a gun and something went wrong and he's dead," Walton told BuzzFeed News last year. "The family deserves better. The family deserves more answers. The community deserves to know what happened."
Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin released a statement Thursday following Meade's indictment.
"This office has a professional obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the community and our deputies are kept safe," he said in a statement. "As I’ve said from the very beginning, I pray for everyone involved in this tragedy."
Meade is scheduled to appear before a judge on Friday.Meade's lawyer released a video statement to WBNS saying his client expected the charges and was prepared for them.
"We turned him in this morning," attorney Mark Collins said Thursday. "We will enter a not guilty tomorrow at the arraignment ... we will fight this case tooth and nail."