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State v. Goff
Ohio Court of Appeals
2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 27; 2013 WL 139545 (2013)
William Goff was 40 when 15-year-old Megan Goff (defendant) and her family moved in next door. The two married when Megan was 19 and had two children. After marital difficulties developed, William said he was going to kill Megan and the children and allegedly kicked their son in the stomach. Megan took the children to a shelter, filed charges resulting in police removing 63 guns from the home, and filed for divorce. After William allegedly tracked Megan down, she and the children moved to an apartment in another state. In early 2006, Megan recorded a phone call in which William admitted saying he was going to kill her and the children. Megan claimed William repeated his threat in another call she did not record and became convinced he would carry it out. Megan returned home with two guns, as William always told her to carry two in case one jammed. Megan said William let her in then blocked the door and said her mother was going to have a dead kid and two dead grandkids as a present for her upcoming birthday. Megan shot William multiple times, killing him. When Megan called 911, the dispatcher tried to calm her down because she was afraid William could still harm her despite multiple bullet wounds. Megan was charged with murder and claimed self-defense. A psychiatrist testified that Megan suffered from battered-woman’s syndrome and reasonably believed she and the children were in imminent danger. The jury nonetheless convicted Megan of murder. Megan appealed on multiple grounds, including that the court should have instructed on the doctrine of imperfect self-defense but not the duty to retreat, and that instructing on murder without referencing voluntary manslaughter prevented the jury from considering the lesser included offense.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kline, J.)
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