Man convicted of murdering 22-year-old girlfriend granted new trial after court ruling
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A convicted murderer serving life without parole was granted a new trial.
Todd Goff has been in prison five years now --
Now, the Salter family is realizing they may have to relive the nightmare of a trial again.
“Different people have come up to us and said, ‘Because of Tiffany's story, we left our abuser,’” Tiffany’s sister, Bonnie Salter, said. “’We didn't go back.’ And, it does our heart good, but we still miss our Tiffany.”
Whether Goff killed his 22-year-old girlfriend was never the question. He never denied killing her, and apologized during his appeal hearing. But, it was up to a jury to decide what led up to the murder. Were the details of his crime fitting for a life in prison without parole? A jury decided they were.
“He's wanting to get out and live his life, but Tiffany has no life to live,” Tiffany’s stepmother, Karen Salter, said.
It's taken five years to try to put their daughter's murder trial behind them and start to heal.
“We were told it would never happen. It couldn't happen,” John Salter, Tiffany’s father, said. “And, look where we are.”
They keep asking themselves -- how this could happen? Goff claims his attorney didn't do a good job with the case. And a juror did not realize until the very end of the trial during jury deliberation, she also served on the Grand Jury that indicted Goff. Both sides agreed to put in an alternate and continue deliberations.
Now a court says Goff deserves a new trial.
“If you look at it by the law, he's no longer a convicted murderer,” Salter said. “And, he's eligible for a bond. And that's something I can't put into my head.”
On top of that fear, they're trying to brace themselves to hear the details of the case again and to see their baby's lifeless body, again.
“My family having to go through this again,” Salter said. “It’s pure hell on victim families.”
The District Attorney’s office is appealing this decision to the Georgia Supreme Court. We did reach out to Goff's new attorney, who works with the public defender's office, and they did not want to comment.