Killer Gets Three Life Sentences

August 11, 2009|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

Darron "Moo Man" Goods - a 25-year-old Baltimore man convicted of drug conspiracy, witness tampering and murder - was sentenced to three consecutive life terms in federal prison Monday, despite the judge's questioning whether he actually killed a man and Goods' courtroom claims of ineffectual counsel.

"No, no, that's not right," Goods' sister called out as the judge gave his ruling. "My brother didn't do that [expletive]."

Goods was tried this spring alongside James "Miami" Dinkins and Melvin Gilbert, two "very dangerous individuals feared throughout the community," according to one of Goods' attorneys, Thomas J. Saunders. All three defendants were convicted in June on drug and murder charges; Dinkins and Gilbert were eligible for the death penalty, but the jury sentenced them to life.

During Monday's hearing, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz briefly raised the issue of whether Goods' bullets killed witness John Dowery. Goods allegedly shot Dowery immediately after Gilbert did, leading the judge to question who was the actual murderer and suggest that a sentence of less than life might be appropriate.

Prosecutor Deborah Dwyer argued that all of the bullets were deadly. And her co-counsel, Kwame Manley, added that another charge Goods was convicted of carried a mandatory minimum of life, so the point was essentially moot.

When asked if he would like to address the court, Goods stood, apologized to his family and said he wasn't "represented right" by his lawyers, Saunders and C. Justin Brown, who didn't extensively pursue certain arguments Goods said he wanted brought up in court.

But the judge disagreed with Goods' assessment of his counsel and suggested that the short speech might have answered his earlier questions. Motz then handed down three life terms and a 40-year sentence, to run concurrently with one of the life terms, on the four counts for which Goods was convicted.

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