Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 11, 2013

Ohio woman’s murder conviction upheld

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

IRONTON —  An Ohio appeals court has upheld Megan Goff’s conviction for murdering her estranged husband in 2006.

The Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected Goff’s appeal of her 2011 conviction, according to Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson. It was the second time she was convicted of killing Bill Goff by shooting him with two of his own handguns at the couple’s former home in the Hanging Rock area.

In the first decision in 2007, Special Judge Fred Crow found Goff guilty of aggravated murder following a bench trial and sentenced her to at least 33 years in prison. That conviction was thrown out on appeal in 2010 by the Ohio Supreme Court because of faulty testimony from a prosecution expert witness.

The case was retried in August 2011 before Special Judge Patrick McGrath. A jury convicted Goff of murder and McGrath sentenced her to 15 years to life on the murder charge, plus a mandatory three years for using a firearm in the commission of her crime. With time served, she could be out of prison in about 12 1/2 years.

Under Ohio law, the difference between aggravated murder and murder is the latter is done without premeditation, or what Ohio law calls “prior calculation and design.” The jury determined Goff had acted without premeditation.

In her appeal, Goff’s attorney’s alleged six assignments of error at her 2011 trial, according to a news release from Anderson’s office. In a 27-page opinion, Appellate Judge Roger L. Kline overruled the appeal, and Judges Peter B. Abele and William Harsha concurred.

The court’s decision ends Goff’s appeals as a matter of right, but she still has the option to seek a discretionary appeal from the Ohio Supreme Court, according to Anderson.

Goff, who is originally from Worthington, and her family moved into the home next door to Bill Goff’s when Megan Goff was 15. The two struck up a friendship, and, according to Megan Goff’s testimony, they began a sexual relationship when she was 17 and then married two years later.

Goff claimed she shot her husband in self-defense and she was suffering from battered woman’s syndrome as a result of years of psychological abuse and threats from Bill Goff.

Goff’s children are being raised by her mother, who lives in Boyd County.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.