For Immediate Release
Chapel Hill Man Convicted of Federal Firearms Offenses During Assault of Estranged Wife
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – September 28, 2020 – Laqueston Goff, 33, of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, was convicted last week of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Goff was found guilty of the charges by U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr. after a three-day bench trial that ended Thursday.
“Tennessee regularly ranks among the nation’s leaders in men who kill their female domestic partners,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “One of the reasons we aggressively prosecute gun crimes against domestic abusers is that when a gun is introduced in a violent relationship the chances of it turning into a murder increase exponentially. I commend our trial team and our law enforcement partners, particularly Chief Andrew Kon of the Chapel Hill Police Department who led this investigation and built an excellent case with very limited resources. Now, justice has been served and perhaps lives have been saved from any future assault at the hands of this individual.”
On June 7, 2017, Goff phoned his estranged wife and asked her come to Lewisburg, Tennessee and pick him up. Reluctantly, she agreed and drove to Lewisburg, where she found him outside a bowling alley. As they drove, Goff would not tell her where he wanted to go and she became concerned and apprehensive and decided it would be safer for her to return home. When she arrived at her home, Goff wanted to come inside but she refused. Goff then began to physically assault her, striking her and pulling her hair. She was ultimately able to flee the vehicle and went inside the house and locked the door. Goff continued to yell and curse at her and as she cowered in a bedroom, she heard the sound of glass being broken at the front door and multiple gunshots.
A neighbor, an off-duty correctional officer with the Maury County Sheriff’s Office, also heard the gunshots and called local law enforcement to report it. Shortly thereafter, he heard someone rustling in the woods behind his home and ordered them to come out. Goff then appeared from the woods and was bleeding profusely and claimed he had been shot. Goff was transported to Vanderbilt Hospital and continued to maintain that he had been shot by unknown assailants who had attempted to break into his estranged wife’s house. The treating physician who examined Goff found no evidence of a gunshot wound and found that Goff’s injuries were instead consistent with broken glass shards. Physical evidence obtained at the crime scenes, including the recovery of a blood-covered assault rifle, also discredited Goff’s claim and proved him to be the gunman.
Goff had previously been convicted of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and several drug felonies. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Chapel Hill Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert McGuire and Kathryn W. Booth prosecuted the case.