Lord have mercy what is this world coming to?!
A Missouri man was arrested in November for allegedly trying to kill his girlfriend. Reports say that 56-year-old Charles Goforth shot his ex-girlfriend, Sylvia Williams, 55 on Indiana, six times inside her mobile home. Williams miraculously survived that attack but wouldn't be so lucky the next time their paths crossed.
The shooting came on the heels of an argument that started when Williams caught Goforth video-chatting with a woman. Goforth threatened to kill Williams, in front of her 12-year-old granddaughter,when she asked him to leave her house. Goforth pulled out a gun and shot her six times.
Via NW Times:
"The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Goforth to a relative's home in Independence, Missouri, and took him into custody Nov. 5. He was extradited from Jackson County, Missouri, arrived in Lake County on Nov. 25 and posted an $8,000 cash bond Nov. 26, records show.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said Friday that Goforth never should have been released on bond in the previous case."
Goforth bonded out of jail and returned to Williams' house on last Thursday and shot her five more times.
Williams' family told the Times that Goforth had been repeatedly calling and harassing Williams since he bonded out of jail in November.
"Everyone dropped the ball on this," Lolita Levingston said. "She wasn't protected." Levingston, Williams' daughter-in-law, says that Goforth never should have been let out of jail in the first place because he vowed to kill Williams.
Here's why Goforth's bond was low and he was able to walk free.
Goforth's previous case, which included attempted murder, a level 1 felony, and criminal recklessness, a level 5 felony. His bond was set at only $80,000 with 10% accepted for release. Meaning he walked after paying only $8,000.
"According to a bail schedule and guidelines approved by all four Lake Criminal Court judges in July 2014, the standard minimum bail on a level 1 felony with a nonsuspendable sentence is $50,000. The standard minimum bail on a level 5 felony involving a victim younger than 14 is $30,000.
The court may set a higher or lower bond based on the alleged facts of a case. Bond must be at least $50,000 when a defendant has a pending felony case or is charged with an unrelated felony, the guidelines state.
Goforth had no felony convictions, was not on probation or parole, had no other felony or misdemeanor charges pending, and was not on bond in any other cases at the time he was charged in November, documents show."
According to Levingston, the police notified Williams that Goforth was being released but did not offer her any protection from him.
"Two surveillance cameras captured video that was instrumental in securing charges against Goforth in November, but police found after Williams' homicide Thursday that those cameras had been removed from the home, records say.
Phone records showed Goforth's phone had been in the area of Williams' home between 6:30 and 7:12 a.m. Thursday, documents state.
Williams' relative told police she left the home between 7 and 7:25 a.m. to take a child to school and returned to find Williams lying on the floor behind the front door, bleeding from the chest area. Williams was taken to Franciscan Health hospital in Hammond, where she was pronounced dead."
The entire states of Indiana and Missouri failed this woman. We encourage everyone who lives in these two states to check and see what type of bail reform your senators and local legislators support. This didn't have to happen to her and should NOT happen to anyone else.