Goodwin guilty of robbery; attorney plans appeal
Apr 13, 2012 (Opelika-Auburn News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The attorney for a former Auburn University football player convicted of first-degree robbery for a 2011 home invasion plans to appeal the verdict based on drug testing evidence kept out of the weeklong trial, which ended Friday.
"The jury should have heard all the evidence, not just what the state wants them to hear," said Lauryn Lauderdale, the attorney for Antonio Goodwin, one of four former AU football players implicated in a 2011 robbery at an Auburn mobile home.
During the trial, Lauderdale argued Goodwin's judgment was impaired from smoking synthetic marijuana the evening the robbery occurred. Lauderdale says drug test results and other documents she was unable to bring into the trial would help illustrate the danger of the drug and its effect on her client.
During the trial, Lee County Circuit Court Judge Chris Hughes ultimately sided with the state and upheld assistant district attorney Kenny Gibbs' objections to allowing use of the documents, though the information was admitted into the court record under seal. Gibbs argued the results and other documents were ultimately irrelevant to Goodwin's involvement in the robbery.
A jury took less than an hour Friday to find Goodwin guilty of first-degree robbery for his part in the home invasion.
Goodwin, currently a wide receiver for Arizona Western College, will be sentenced June 19 by Hughes, who ordered the 21-year-old detained until a bond hearing scheduled for April 18. Lauderdale said she anticipated her client would likely remain at the Lee County Detention Center until his sentencing, predicting release on a new bond would be denied next week.
First-degree robbery is a class-A felony with a traditional sentencing range of 20 years to life with the aggravating factor of a weapon, but Hughes could go lower than the minimum under voluntary sentencing guidelines, according to Lauderdale and the district attorney's office.
Lauderdale said her client turned down a plea deal from the Lee County District Attorney's Office for 21 years.
"We didn't have anything to risk," Lauderdale said of the decision to go to trial.
Gibbs said he was pleased with the verdict.
"It doesn't get much worse than this ... home invasion robbery," Gibbs said.
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