A former gun instructor who accidentally shot and seriously injured an 82-year-old woman at an Oak Harbor restaurant a year ago has been sentenced to 12 months in jail.
David A. Goodman, 58, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Island County Superior Court to third degree assault, with one aggravating circumstance.
Goodman, a resident of Coupeville, and victim Barbara Bland spoke at the sentencing hearing.
Bland pointed to where the bullet entered his chest and took it out from the back after Goodman inadvertently fired a handgun from another table at Frasers Gourmet Hideaway. She said she was in a wheelchair after part of her legs were amputated due to blood clots and an infection related to the injury from the January 10, 2020 shooting.
“I wanted to tell Mr. Goodman,” she said, “that I believe there is no need to carry a weapon loaded with 15 hollow point bullets in the community under peaceful circumstances.”
Goodman cried as he spoke, apologizing to Bland and the court.
“There are no words to grasp, no words to express,” he said, “the depth of anguish and torment that I feel.”
Island County District Attorney Greg Banks explained that the aggravating factor was that the shooting caused a level of injury that exceeded what was needed to meet the elements of the crime. The postman earned Goodman an exceptional sentence beyond the standard range of one to three months.
Pursuant to plea bargaining, a charge of serious misdemeanor and firearms improvement were dismissed.
The prosecution and the defense have agreed to recommend an exceptional sentence of 12 months. Judge Christon Skinner agreed and imposed the sentence.
Banks noted that the assault was unusual in that Goodman had no intention of harming anyone, but that it was “an extremely serious and life-threatening crime.”
Brent Thompson, Goodman’s attorney, said his client was a gun instructor at a local club, as well as a volunteer gun instructor for the NJROTC at Oak Harbor High School. He pointed out how remorseful Goodman is and that his main concern was the victim’s health.
The lawyer said Goodman suffered from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, which he said should ease the sentence.
He said Goodman suffered a brain injury as a teenager when he was hit by a car. Despite this, he had a successful career in the Navy, retiring as a lieutenant commander.
The attorney said Goodman had been on more than one combat tour and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.
In 2013, Goodman and his family were in a car that was hit by a drunk driver and he suffered another aggravating brain injury. Prior to that, he had a successful career with the investment firm Edward Jones, but was unable to continue after the accident.
Thompson said an expert in forensic neurology assessed Goodman in November and concluded that frontal brain injury and PTSD may have played a role in the behavior that caused the crime.
The expert discovered that Goodman may have forgotten that he had placed the loaded gun in his chair when he got up in the restaurant and then returned, either sitting on the gun or in the back. handling badly.
In condemning Goodman, Skinner said that while Goodman was suffering from these issues, “it might not be the best thing to wear with a gun under these circumstances.”
The bullet that came out of Bland’s body whistled near a women’s table and through a window.
One of the women said the bullet would have hit her if she had been a little bigger.
As part of the plea bargaining, Banks said, Goodman has to admit that his negligence endangered the other diners. He also agreed to turn over his handgun to Oak Harbor Police.
Since being convicted of a felony, Goodman will no longer be able to own, use or possess firearms unless the right is restored by a court.
Bland filed a personal injury lawsuit against Goodman in November.