SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 7, 2014

Trial delayed for Salem mom charged with trying to kill kids

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — The trial of a Salem woman charged with trying to murder her two young children, then setting fire to their Salem Heights apartment, will be delayed while prosecutors have their own forensic psychiatric expert evaluate Tanicia Goodwin, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Goodwin, 28, is facing attempted murder and arson charges in connection with the March 2012 incident, in which she allegedly slashed the throats of her 8-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, then set the apartment on fire. During their efforts to put out the fire, a firefighter became briefly trapped in the apartment, where Goodwin allegedly removed the doorknob and doused the room in lighter fluid.

Her trial, originally set for May 5, will be rescheduled.

During a hearing that started in January, lawyers for Goodwin confirmed their plans to rely on a defense that argues Goodwin was not criminally responsible for her actions that night. They cited the results of their own forensic evaluation of Goodwin.

But they did not immediately want to turn over the results.

On Wednesday, Lawrence Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ordered the defense to provide access to the records and will allow the prosecution extra time to have its own expert meet with Goodwin and prepare a report.

Goodwin has been hospitalized for most of the time since her arrest, which came after she made a series of rambling statements about trying to “protect” her children. The defense is in the midst of a hearing in which they want Wilkins to bar those statements from being used at trial.

The hearing resumes March 26.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.