Accused cop killer goes to trial on Monday

By: By T.C. Hunter - Managing editor
Jeremiah Goodson

LUMBERTON — The trial of the man charged with the 2012 shooting death of a Lumberton police officer is scheduled to begin on Monday.

Marques Brown, 33, is accused of the shooting death of Officer Jeremiah Goodson Jr., who was off-duty and trying to arrest Brown when he was shot and killed in North Lumberton, not far from the Exit 22 bridge that now is named in his honor.

When the proceedings start at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 2A of Superior Court, the prosecutor will be Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt. The court-appointed defense attorney will be Lisa Miles, of Durham. She will be assisted by attorney Junius B. Lee, of Whiteville.

Brown is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Goodson, who was fatally shot on July 17, 2012, at a Shell gasoline station on Fayetteville Road. He was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Brown for two charges of failure to appear in court, one charge of possession of firearm by a felon, and one charge of carrying a concealed weapon.

The defense team has cleared a major hurdle by having the death penalty taken off the table.

“Now, we’re hoping for the best,” Miles said.

Brown was declared intellectually deficient for a capital case during a pre-trial hearing in January.

Miles is not certain how long the trial will last.

“We’ve been trying to figure that out,” she said. “We feel it could go about two weeks. It could be less.”

Britt could not be reached for comment.

Goodson was a 32-year-old master patrol officer when he was shot to death. At the time of his murder, he and his wife, Lametria, had a 2-year-old daughter and she was pregnant with their second child.

According to the Lumberton Police Department reports, Officer Ronnie Hayes was pulling into the Shell parking lot in his patrol car when he saw Goodson get out of his private vehicle and approach Brown.

The man then opened fire on Goodson, and Hayes took the gunman into custody, police said.

The I-95 overpass near where Goodson was killed was dedicated in Goodson’s honor in June 2015.

Brown had a criminal record dating to 2004, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records. He was released from prison in 2007 after serving two years and seven months for a felony breaking and entering conviction, and he also has been convicted of larceny, possession of stolen goods, receiving and possessing a firearm and misdemeanor breaking and entering.

Jeremiah Goodson Goodson

By T.C. Hunter

Managing editor

Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]

Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]