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Attorney: Hit-and-Run Wasn't Premeditated

Posted March 24, 2008
Updated March 26, 2008

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— Victoria Graham Goode entered a Wake County courtroom Monday as the trial in which she is accused of running over and killing a romantic rival opened.

Goode, 55, of 1229 Bentley Lane, faces a single charge of murder and two charges of attempted murder, along with one count each of larceny and assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill and larceny.

As the trial began, the prosecutor told jurors that Goode was "on a mission" when she attacked Veronica Elaine Malone in July 2007. Malone and her nephew were helping Tanya Lynette Mattison move out of Goode's house on Bentley Lane when Goode ran into them with her car.

The prosecution says she first swiped Malone with the car, then tried to attack her with a hammer, then returned to her car and hit Malone a second time, killing her.

In their opening remarks, Goode's attorneys didn't dispute that she killed Malone with her car. They contend, however, that the death was not premeditated and doesn't constitute first-degree murder.

Friends said earlier Goode's actions were out of character and a reaction to being told that her lover had left her for Malone.

"This was just something that happened, it was never planned. She was just emotional, struggling with the relationship," Goode's friend Elizabeth Peak explained.

Prosecutors say that regardless of her emotional state, Goode knew her actions could seriously injure or kill someone. They say Goode made verbal threats at the scene and intended to kill Malone.

"She does deny that it was a deliberate murder," Public Defender Bryan Collins claimed. "She snapped, she lost it and it caused Victoria Malone to die."

He asked the jury to find her guilty of second-degree murder, rather than first-degree murder.

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  • b4self Mar 25, 2008

    doodad, you are right the movie you are talking about the husband and wife were Dr's. Dentist I think , anyway the woman had her teenage step-daughter in the car with herwhen she ran over her husband, she had confronted them earlier,and waited in the pk lot and ran over him several times and yes she got life in prison

  • tsquaring Mar 25, 2008

    it's always 99% of the lawyers making the other 1% look bad. :-P

  • atlpeach Mar 25, 2008

    First,Prayers go out to the family, I know it must be painful to go through this. In previous articles, etc. didn't it state that Ms. Goode was at the end of the street watching Ms. Malone, her nephew & ex move her ex's things from her house. The fact that she sat watching, wouldn't that be taken into consideration of whether it was premeditated or not, I'm sure it will.Goode definitely had no right to take another's life! Also think it was a poor decision on Malone's part to step foot on Goode's property in the first place.

  • gnew46 Mar 24, 2008

    "there was no boyfriend involved."
    squirrelingdervish

    I guess that would be up for debate, depending on how you look at that type of wierd situation. Nuff said.

  • random musings Mar 24, 2008

    ohhh the old 'crime of passion' defense.

    Honestly, if hes gonna cheat on you, how great of a catch is he?

    But then, she proved what great of a catch she was, by her actions. Maybe they deserve each other after all.

  • moreupset Mar 24, 2008

    Your lover is moving out, you get into your car and run them over killing them. How can this be non-premeditated? It is murder in the first degree.

  • colliedave Mar 24, 2008

    The prosecution must prove that she went to the house with a will-full intent to committ murder to win a case of murder in the first degree. A second degree murder charge will put her in jail for several decades.

  • dogmama Mar 24, 2008

    She snapped and "IT" caused the death of someone else? How ridiculous. SHE caused the death of someone. I don't think she snapped and the car took over and ran over someone.

  • dh1964 Mar 24, 2008

    RKBA asked "did the attorney get his degree out of a cereal box???!!"

    I doubt it - where did your get yours? For what it's worth, this is a public defender - he is not doing this to get rich but to ensure that this woman gets a fair trial.

    From the comments, you would think that a second-degree murder defense would get her off the hook entirely. It won't, of course. Furthermore, just because he's arguing second-degree doesn't mean the jury has to accept it.

    Our system distinguishes between premeditated murder, in which a person REFLECTS upon whether to kill someone, and second-degree murder, in which the killing is in the heat of the moment. There is no hard-and-fast line, such as 'one second' or 'one hour'. It depends on the facts. In this case, if the jury believes that the woman really told others that she planned to kill, then second-degree sounds unlikely.

    Bottom line - relax until the verdict comes in. The lawyer is doing exactly what he's supposed to do.

  • moreupset Mar 24, 2008

    w2008- You are correct, how can anyone rightfully accused come up with such a defense without a lawyer?

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