Kingsport Times News Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Regional & National

Goins found guilty of facilitating second-degree murder of ETSU student

September 22nd, 2008 12:00 am by Staff Report

According to the Bristol Herald-Courier, after nearly 11 hours of deliberation over two days, jurors found Goins not guilty of first-degree premeditated murder. Instead, the 34-year-old was found guilty of facilitating second-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery.

With their verdict, jurors suggested they were not entirely swayed by the testimony of Goins\' accomplice, Justin Jones, who fingered Goins for Rhymer\'s murder on June 18, 2002. Jones testified on Wednesday that he and Goins entered Rhymer\'s house to steal marijuana and cash, and that Goins repeatedly struck the victim in the back of the head with a hammer.

A medical examiner determined that Rhymer died of blunt-force trauma to the back of the head. Although Jones led authorities to what they believe was the murder weapon, it was not recovered until more than a month after Rhymer\'s death, and no forensic evidence linked either defendant to the crime.

The Rhymer case was the second trial in which Jones testified against Goins. Both men were convicted of carjacking and killing James Norwood in April 2002, en route to robbing a bank. In that case, Jones received a 45-year sentence for his role in Norwood\'s death, with his other convictions to run concurrently.

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