The Franklin County, Ohio, Prosecuting Attorney’s office announced Tuesday it filed the necessary documents to appoint two special prosecutors to assist in its investigation and prosecution involving the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson, Jr., and other cases involving law enforcement use of force.
Goodson, a 23-year-old Black man, was shot and killed in December by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy in Columbus, Ohio. Goodson’s mother has said he was shot as he was entering his home after returning from the dentist and Subway.
An official autopsy report released in March by attorneys for Goodson’s family shows Goodson was shot in the torso six times from behind.
His cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds of the torso and the manner of death to be a homicide, according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office report.
The report says two of the gunshot wounds were to Goodson’s mid-back, two to the left side of his back, one to the right side of his back, and one to his buttocks.
The appointment of trial attorneys H. Tim Merkle and Gary S. Shroyer will be effective after approval from the Court of Common Pleas and execution of the contracts, the prosecuting attorney’s office said in a news release.
“We anticipate Mr. Shroyer beginning his service by June 11 and Mr. Merkle starting his service on June 19. Both men have extensive experience as trial attorneys,” the release said.
The office said the appointments “are the appropriate course of action given that the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office serves as legal counsel to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and anticipates defending the County and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in civil matters relating to the shooting death of Casey Goodson, Jr.”
The Columbus Division of Police is handling the investigation into the shooting and the US Attorney’s Office in Southern Ohio also opened a civil rights investigation.