Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Thursday, April 19, 2001

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Lee Goff Scheduled To Be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on David Lee Goff who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25th.

On Nov. 21, 1991, David Lee Goff was convicted of the Sept. 1, 1990, murder of Michael McGuire, that took place in Ft. Worth. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

Goff's accomplice, Craig Ford, testified that in early September 1990, he was waiting in the apartment of Mary Johnson for a ride to his mother's house. Goff, who was 21 years old and lived with Johnson, entered and said a ride had arrived. Ford went outside where there was a dark blue van and a driver he had never met, Michael McGuire. Goff sat in the front passenger seat, and Ford sat in the rear of the van on an old mattress.

On the way to Ford's mother's house, Goff had McGuire stop under an overpass so that he could use the restroom. When Goff reentered the van, he pulled a small chrome gun and placed it to McGuire's head. Goff grabbed McGuire out of his seat and threw him down on the mattress in the back of the van handcuffing his hands behind his back.

Goff instructed Ford to drive to a dark street. Ford exited the freeway onto Wilbarger. As he turned onto Wilbarger, he heard a single gunshot from the rear of the van. Goff had Ford stop along a wooded section of the road and help him remove the body through the rear of the van. As Goff dragged McGuire's body into the woods, Ford began to run down the road back towards the freeway.

Goff got back into the van and caught up with Ford, ordering him back into the van at gunpoint. They drove to a place near the Johnson apartment where they abandoned the van after Goff attempted to wipe off his fingerprints.

Johnson's daughter, Angela, saw Goff enter the apartment covered in blood. Ford testified that Goff changed at the apartment and gave his clothes to Angela to dispose of them. A friend of the Johnson family testified that Goff tried to get him to burn the van.

A few days after the murder, McGuire's decomposing body was found face down by children playing in the woods. Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Nizam Peerwani, testified that in addition to numerous insect bites, McGuire's body showed injuries from a single gunshot wound to the left temple, injuries from being tightly gagged and ligature marks around the neck consistent with the rope found tied to the gag. Peerwani believed that McGuire was still alive when the rope and gag marks were made. Peerwani determined the cause of death as the gunshot wound and estimated that McGuire was dead within five to 10 minutes of being shot.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Dec. 13, 1990 - Goff was indicted in Tarrant County for capital murder.

Nov. 21, 1991 - The jury found him guilty of capital murder.

Nov. 25, 1991 - After a separate hearing on punishment, the jury answered affirmatively the two special punishment phase issues submitted pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Based on the jury's answers, the trial court sentenced Goff to death by lethal injection.

May 22, 1996 - The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction on direct appeal.

Oct. 16, 1996 - The Court of Criminal Appeals denied Goff's motion for rehearing.

April 14, 1997 - The United States Supreme Court denied Goff's petition for writ of certiorari.

Dec. 31, 1997 - Goff filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in the 371st District Court of Tarrant County. Based on the findings and conclusions of the district court, and on its own review of the record, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief.

Sept. 4, 1998 - Goff filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Jan. 19, 1999 - The district court entered a final judgment denying Goff's petition. Goff appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Sept. 8, 2000 - The Court of Appeals denied Goff a certificate of appealability.

No petition for writ of certiorari was filed in the United States Supreme Court.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

In November 1984, Goff, then a juvenile, was convicted of two counts of attempted capital murder and sentenced to 15 years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections. The details of these offenses are as follows:

On Aug. 15, 1984, Goff and two other youths got a ride from Vaughn Heeren. When Heeren stopped his car to let them out, Goff pointed a .22 caliber Derringer at him. The youths stole his wallet containing $160 and drove his truck to an industrial park in Grand Prairie. Goff instructed Heeren to strip and run. Heeren heard a shot as he ran, and thinking that the shot did not sound real, he turned around, ran back towards the truck and was shot in the chest. The youths swerved at him and then drove off. Heeren obtained treatment for a collapsed lung and survived. At the time of trial, Heeren continued to suffer from nightmares about the attack.

On Aug. 16, 1984, Goff and two other youths violently assaulted Jill Bogan-Tucker in the parking lot of the hotel where she worked. Goff instructed her at gun point to open her car door and get in and then began cussing at her and slapping her. Tucker fought her way out of the car and ran towards the hotel. Goff shot her in the back as she ran, caught up with her and shot her again under her chin. Tucker managed to run into the hotel while the three assailants fled on foot. At the time of trial, she continued to suffer from extreme headaches and a weak back, and she took medication for pain.

Witnesses at trial testified about these two offenses. Goff admitted he was the trigger man in both offenses.

MISCELLANEOUS

For additional information and statistics, please log on to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, www.tdcj.state.tx.us.

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Contact: Mark Heckmann, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees Shepperd at (512) 463-2050.
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