Woman Guilty of Killing Ex-Girlfriend's Partner
Posted March 27, 2008 1:17 p.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2008 2:24 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh woman was found guilty Thursday of killing her ex-girlfriend's partner and was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.
Victoria Graham Goode, 55, was convicted of first-degree murder in the July 1, 2007, hit-and-run death of Veronica Elaine Malone.
Malone and her nephew, who was injured, were helping Tanya Lynette Mattison move out of Goode's house when Goode ran into them with her car. The jury also found her guilty of attempted first-degree murder for hitting Malone's nephew.
The jury returned its verdict after several hours of deliberation, which began late Wednesday afternoon. During that time, it listened twice in open court to an emotional 911 call that brought tears to some jurors' eyes.
Goode testified Wednesday that her "mind snapped" when she saw Malone helping Mattison move. But she said she didn't remember crashing into her and that it wasn't until she saw a police report that she realized what she had done.
"I caused the accident, because they said I did, but I don't remember hitting anyone," Goode said, saying she never saw Malone.
Prosecutors said Goode 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.
Goode's attorney, Bryan Collins, never disputed that his client killed Malone, but he said the death didn't constitute first-degree murder, because it wasn't premeditated.
He asked the jury to find her guilty of second-degree murder.