Franklin County deputy who shot Casey Goodson is planning to retire next month

Theodore Decker
The Columbus Dispatch

Franklin County Sheriff's SWAT deputy Jason Meade, who fatally shot Casey Goodson Jr. in December, plans to retire next month.

Sheriff Dallas Baldwin's office confirmed Friday afternoon that Deputy Jason Meade, 42, will be leaving on disability retirement, effective July 2.

Meade, a 17-year veteran, has been on administrative leave since the shooting. In a prepared statement, Baldwin said Meade's retirement status was out of his hands.

Franklin County Sheriff's SWAT deputy Jason Meade has been on administrative leave since he fatally shot Casey Goodson Jr. in December.

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"Law enforcement disability decisions are governed by state law and made by the pension system," Baldwin said. "As sheriff, I have no control or input over what the pension system decides with this or any other disability case."

Goodson, 23, was fatally shot Dec. 4 as he was confronted by Meade outside his family's home. Meade alleged that Goodson waved a gun at Meade after the deputy had been working as part of an unsuccessful federal fugitive task force search for a suspect nearby, so the deputy followed him to his residence on the 3900 block of Estates Place in the Northland area.

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Goodson's family has said Goodson had a concealed carry permit for his gun and he was carrying sandwiches while unlocking a screen door to enter the home at the time he was shot.

The Franklin County Coroner's Office report confirmed that Goodson was shot six times in the torso, five of which were to his back.

"It is disappointing that Sheriff Dallas Baldwin did not terminate Jason Meade on his own accord, but the news that Meade has decided to retire brings Casey's family a small sense of relief," said a statement released by Goodson family attorney, Sean L. Walton. "He will no longer be a threat to the residents of Franklin County.

"However, this is just one step toward justice," the statement continued. "Casey's family remains fully committed to pushing for Meade's indictment and arrest on murder charges. His sudden retirement shows that he understands that he is soon to be held accountable for his actions, and for Casey's family and for this entire community that day cannot come soon enough."

Kayla Merchant, a spokesperson for Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack, said Friday that a joint investigation with the U.S. attorney's office into the Goodson shooting 

remains active and no decision has been made about when the case will be presented to a grand jury, or who will present it.

Casey Goodson Jr., 23, in a photo provided by his family's attorneys.

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All fatal uses of force by law enforcement officers in Franklin County are taken to a grand jury under a policy that has been in effect for decades. But Gov. Mike DeWine and state Attorney General Dave Yost last year began urging local prosecutors to turn such cases over to state, federal or special prosecutors to eliminate the perception of a conflict-of-interest.

Reporter John Futty contributed to this story.

tdecker@dispatch.com

@Theodore_Decker