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A Hardin District Court judge found probable cause Monday in the case against a Cecilia man suspected in a series of early morning robberies and a shooting Oct. 27 near the Hardin-Meade County line.
Steven C. Goodman, 21, originally was charged in Hardin County with attempted murder, two counts of first-degree robbery, six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, theft by unlawful taking – automobile, tampering with physical evidence and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
He also faces charges of first-degree robbery and kidnapping of an adult in Meade County.
According to Kentucky State Police Detective Jonathan Vaughn, who testified during a preliminary hearing Monday, Goodman denies the allegations and maintained his innocence throughout his interview with police.
Before sending the case to the grand jury, Judge Kim Shumate amended the attempted murder charge to first-degree assault as she said it better matched the allegations.
According to Vaughn’s testimony, Goodman is suspected in a shooting and several robberies in the Big Spring community. The chain of events began at Carolyn’s Corner Store in Meade County, he said.
One man, Jason Matz, sustained a gunshot wound to the arm, and Goodman fled the scene in a 1998 Buick LeSabre stolen at gunpoint from Gilbert Board, Vaughn said.
State police arrested Goodman on Oct. 29 at his mother’s residence after locating the stolen vehicle near a residence on Miller Lane in Hardin County, he said.
According to Vaughn, the Buick was found hidden in a wooded area near the end of a driveway.
Police spoke with residents in that area who reported hearing a man the morning of Oct. 27 who banged on doors and repeatedly screamed “I’ve been shot. I need help,” the detective said.
One of the residents, Edward Sutton, told police he knew Goodman and allowed him to spend the night at his home, Vaughn said.
During an interview with police, Sutton said Goodman did not appear to have a gunshot wound, according to Vaughn’s testimony. The suspect told Sutton he was involved in a physical altercation in Brandenburg, during which a gun was displayed and a man struck him over the head with a liquor bottle.
During the incident in Big Spring, Carolyn Edelen, owner of Carolyn’s Corner Store, struck Goodman in the head with a vase, Vaughn said.
According to Sutton, Goodman also displayed a black handgun, the detective said, which matched the description of a Springfield ACP .45-caliber weapon taken from Matz’s residence.
Police are processing fingerprints recovered from the vehicle as well as video footage from the Big Spring convenience store.
A handgun has not been found, Vaughn said.
After taking Goodman into custody, he said Edelen identified Goodman as the robbery suspect.
“Once she saw him stand and talk, she was able to positively identify him,” Vaughn said.
However, other witnesses told police they were unable to identify Goodman because it was “too dark,” he said.
Goodman’s attorney, public defender David Stewart, requested the judge not find probable cause as Goodman has denied the allegations.
The attorney also questioned the validity of Edelen’s identification of Goodman as the suspect and suggested Sutton was using him as a scapegoat to cover for someone else.
Shumate ultimately forwarded the case to the grand jury. Though she amended the attempted murder charge, she said it is up to the grand jury to determine on what charges Goodman is indicted.
Goodman remains lodged at Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond.
The grand jury has 60 days to return an indictment before he is eligible for release from jail.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1570 or email@example.com.