FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Two brothers, one who shot the other after a meth-fueled night. They still love each other and the older brother, the victim, still speaks to his brother sitting in the Allen County Jail.
But Thursday, Ian Goodman, 27, sat with his fiancé, Jessica Day, in Superior Court Judge David Zent’s courtroom awaiting the verdict on younger brother, Ryan Goodman, 23, facing six counts, the most serious being aggravated battery knowingly inflicting an injury that creates a substantial risk of death. The Level 3 felony carries a sentence of three to 16 years.
The jury was split.
On the aggravated battery charge, he was found not guilty, the jury buying the idea that it was self defense.
He was also found not guilty on domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 5 felony and theft of a firearm, a level 6 felony. Level 5 felonies carry a sentence of one to six years and a Level 6 felony, six months to 2.5 years.
Ryan Goodman looked relieved when he heard the not guilty counts on the greater felonies.
However, he was found guilty on two charges of carrying a handgun without a license, a Level 5 and 6 felony, and Level 6 possession of methamphetamine, drugs he had on him when he was arrested June 19, after shooting Ian on the 18th.
Robert Scremin said it was the first time in his 24 years as an attorney that he’d had a case involving two brothers, both of them sharing the same set of parents.
“I’m very pleased with the jury’s verdict of not guilty on the Level 3 aggravated battery. That’s really the reason why this case went to trial. Ryan Goodman, all along, has maintained that he never intentionally shot his brother, that he fired a warning shot into the ground when his brother was coming towards him, threatening him, and if he was hit, it was either an accident or the bullet possibly ricocheted off the ground and hit him.”
His mother Tori Ruch, was resigned to whatever the jury decided.
“This has been my seat for three days,” Ruch said, sharing the front row with her fiancé, Lori Stockman. Ruch said the brothers were always together, but not necessarily fighting. They are the middle brothers of four.
“Them two are grown men and choose to take this road in life,” Ruch said. “It’s not the first time they’ve been in trouble. They’d rather do drugs and live off people.”
Not surprisingly, Stockman said they were “sad” that the situation had come to this. Both of them have tried to get the two to change their lives and get a job, they said.
The shooting that left Ian Goodman without the capacity to have sexual relations occurred June 18 outside Ian’s apartment at Woodview Manor Apartments around 7:45 a.m. Ruch said her two sons and Day had been hanging out and using meth when the two got in an altercation. Court documents indicated that the three argued after Ian told Ryan to leave the apartment and didn’t offer to give him a ride.
“Really bro?” Ian said to Ryan after he was shot and clutching his shorts, calling out to his fiancé to call 9-1-1. Later, Ian described the wound as being near his genitals. He rated his pain at a 23 on a scale of 1-10, court documents said.
Scremin said the fight was outside the apartment in the 3500 block of Ferndale and the much larger, older brother at 350 pounds took off his shirt and started toward Ryan. Rya, at 170 pounds,n took a gun he was accused of stealing from his cousin, Michael Klinger, a couple of days earlier and shot it into the ground. The .45 caliber bullet either hit Ian directly or ricocheted off the parking lot, striking Ian in the penis and the uretha before exiting his back. It likely splintered into three as it hit the pelvic bone.
Even in agony, Scremin said Ian was able to walk around. The jurors heard Day on an audiotape call 911 and tearfully beg the dispatcher to send help.
Scremin said it was obvious Ryan fired a warning shot to his brother who was coming after him. Allen County Prosecutor Tasha Lee disagreed and told the jury Ryan showed no remorse during a jail phone call to his mother.
“He didn’t ask once about Ian,” Lee said. “When the defendant is talking to his mother, he’s also talking to Ian’s mother. He asked ‘what does Ian say happened’.” That was because Ryan wanted their stories to match as Ryan faced prison.
Ryan, homeless at the time of the shooting, also told his mother, the shooting “wouldn’t have happened if you’d let me live with you. Just talk to me, mom. I’m going to jail.”
Ryan’s cousin, Michael Klinger, testified that he allowed Ryan to come into his home to shower and then his .45 caliber gun, a gift from his deceased grandfather, went missing two days before the shooting. The next day, Klinger filed a police report, but didn’t allow Fort Wayne police to come inside his home to document the theft with photos or fingerprints.
Scremin said it could have been because “he didn’t want his old lady to know he’d given away the gun.”
After the verdict, Klinger told WANE he didn’t want to comment.
Ryan was picked up on June 19 around 11:30 p.m. while walking to a Shell gas station. The Fort Wayne Street Crimes Unit found the reportedly stolen Tisa firearm loaded with one round in the chamber and four rounds in the magazine along with three additional magazines, allegedly stolen, with one, five and eight rounds, according to a probable cause affidavit. This was the same gun the jury wasn’t convinced was stolen and found Ryan not guilty.
Goodman, who was also found guilty on a gun charge out of Whitley County, a probation violation Scremin said, is set to be sentenced Oct. 14.
“This is probably the first case in 24 years that I’ve had (that was brother against brother). It was difficult I’m certain for them. For me, the law applies the same way whether it’s a family member or not. Self defense applies the same way. I’m sure for everyone involved, this was difficult.”