Does Deputy Goforth's alleged murderer have an alibi?

The horror show in Texas seems to have settled back down to the building of memorials and a period of mourning in the community following the assassination of Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth. After too many tense hours of wondering while many of our readers were providing feedback and tips they found here at Hot Air, there was finally the announcement that there was a suspect in custody. (I will not be repeating the name here any more since he’s had more than enough notoriety as it is.) But do the good guys have the right bad guy in the cell? The alleged killer has at least one person on his side saying that he has a solid alibi. Of course… it’s his mom.

Before he was officially charged, [his] mother told NBC station KPRC of Houston that she and her son had been out shopping at the time and couldn’t get home because police had surrounded their street.

When they finally made it home, she said, they were ambushed by armed SWAT officers and police dogs.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty (or at least until we get a confession) so this will need to be sorted out. I suppose there’s something to be said for at least having your mom on your side. But when it comes to this case, Devon Anderson, the District Attorney prosecuting the case, stepped forward this morning at the accused killer’s first court appearance and set forth an awfully powerful case.

“He unloaded the entire weapon into Deputy Goforth,” she said — a 14-bullet clip, plus one that was already in the chamber.

Investigators have said they are not sure what motivated the gunman. Sheriff Ron Hickman said over the weekend that “our assumption is he was a target because he wore a uniform.”

Ballistics tests matched a gun at [his] home — a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson — to the shell casings at the gas station, the prosecutor said.

Ms. Anderson is a lawyer, not a cop, and I have no idea how much experience she has with weapons. She was also clearly still quite emotional over this outrageous crime (as she was yesterday) so we’ll forgive her the use of “clip” in her presentation, but the evidence she described sounds like it should be a fairly solid case.

Consider for a moment some of the things described in the hearing. (As a side note, this was a strictly procedural hearing to establish the framework for the case. There wasn’t even a plea entered which will happen later.) There is video, albeit not the most crisp you could hope for. It shows the murderer as well as the vehicle which had a few distinctive features. There was a white cooler in the back of the truck as well as a custom trailer hitch. A matching cooler was found in the garage of the defendant and his truck has the same hitch. Also found at his home in a gym bag was a .40-caliber S&W handgun. This was not only the correct caliber weapon but a ballistics test was already done and it matched the rounds which killed the deputy.

Yes, it is possible – though extremely rare – to get a false positive on a ballistics test. But it doesn’t happen often. Having the alleged murder weapon in hand is a huge plus for the prosecution and the rest of the video footage plus witness testimony leads me to believe that the DA thinks she has an extremely solid case.

I somehow find it unlikely that the defendant is going to come in with a guilty plea when the time comes. Texas has something of a “speed lane” for executions if you have enough overwhelming evidence and it seems unlikely in the extreme that this DA is going to offer a deal where they take the death penalty off the table. And why would the accused cop a plea if there’s literally nothing to gain beyond a quick date with a needle? As to his alibi, I can’t bring myself to condemn a mother if she were to turn out to be lying about her son’s alibi, but it doesn’t look to me like this one will hold water. And if the accused is indeed found to be guilty, this is one monster who needs to be put down.

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John Sexton 1:00 PM on February 01, 2023