Goodwin’s defense attorney, Lauryn Lauderdale, informed the court that she would call football coach Gene Chizik and assistant coach and receivers coach Trooper Taylor, but the district attorney’s office made several objections in regards to her line of questioning about synthetic marijuana testing and the use of spice on the team. The objections were sustained and the defense rested, deciding the coaches’ testimony would be unnecessary.
Goodwin, the first of four former players to go to trial on armed robbery charges, has pleaded not guilty.
In the defense’s closing argument, Lauderdale repeatedly told the jury that on the night in question, her client’s judgment was impaired due to his use of spice and therefore could not be held accountable for his actions.
“In baseball, a team scores a home run by tagging every base,” Lauderdale said. “If they don’t tag first, second and third, they don’t score. In the same way, the state has to tag every base.”
The defense reiterated Goodwin’s altered state of mind, saying he was so intoxicated he could not legally make decisions.
“The evidence shows that Goodwin was intoxicated,” Lauderdale said. She reminded the jury of a statement made by former teammate Michael Dyer, stating “He had this look in his eye I hadn’t ever seen before.”
The defense went on to point out the inconsistencies in the case, including the defendant’s missing necklace and the inability of all five victims to describe his black cast.
“This is not a game folks. This is not baseball. We’re talking about Antonio Goodwin’s life,” Lauderdale said.
Assistant district attorney Kenny Gibbs acknowledged the importance of the case at hand, but urged the jury not to be persuaded by Lauderdale’s rhetoric.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that his mental state was so impaired that he was incapable of consciousness that he is committing a crime,” Gibbs said.’
Before verdict deliberation began, the Court added a lesser-included offense of robbery in the second degree if the jury does not see the charge of robbery in the first degree fit.
Court will be back in session once the jury comes to a unanimous decision.