LUMBERTON — District Attorney Johnson Britt will seek the death penalty for the man who is charged with shooting and killing Lumberton police Officer Jeremiah Goodson on Tuesday.
“… He is accused of killing a police officer,” Britt said. “That’s an aggravating factor under North Carolina statue.”
Marques Brown, 27, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting that killed Goodson at the Xpress Depot, at 5030 Fayetteville Road while the officer was attempting to serve a warrant for Brown’s arrest.
Brown had his first appearance hearing on Wednesday in courtroom 3C of the Robeson County Courthouse, via video teleconference from the Cumberland County jail, where he is being held. Brown’s court date was set for Aug. 1.
Details about the shooting that killed Goodson have been slow to emerge, but Lumberton Police Chief Mike McNeill did say that the officer who assisted Goodson was Ronnie Hayes. Hayes, who is 30, is a police officer level 3 who has worked for the department since 2008, according to James Moore, Human Resources director for the city.
McNeill would not reveal any other details about the shooting, including whether or not Brown was alone. He deferred to the State Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the investigation, but repeated attempts to get information from that agency have failed.
Brown was wanted for two charges of failure to appear in court — one for possession of a firearm by a felon and one for carrying a concealed weapon, according to Lumberton police Capt. Johnny Barnes. He also had outstanding warrants in Columbus County for receiving stolen property and obstructing an officer, Barnes said.
According to the Columbus County clerk of court, charges are pending for a 2011 assault on a government official.
“After attempting to stop him, he led us on a chase into Bladen County,” Sgt. Andre Jackson, of the Whiteville Police Department, told WECT. “We had to get assistance from the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, Highway Patrol, and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. He eventually crashed and we caught him.”
A photo on Brown’s Facebook page shows him pointing a handgun at the screen with the caption “salute me or shoot me.” According to information on his Facebook page, Brown attended Lumberton High School.
Brown’s incarceration history dates back to 2003 and includes time served for several probation violations and for possession of stolen goods, breaking and entering with larceny, possession of a firearm by a felon, contempt of court, breaking into a motor vehicle and larceny of a motor vehicle.
Goodson was off-duty and traveling on Fayetteville Road when he recognized Brown, who was sitting in a vehicle, and called for backup. As Goodson and Hayes approached the vehicle, police say Brown opened fire, hitting Goodson more than once.
Goodson is survived by his wife Lametria, who is due to have the couple’s second child any day, and their young daughter.
McNeill said that he made a 10 p.m. visit on Tuesday to Goodson’s aunt’s home in Lumberton, where Goodson’s family had gathered.
“She has her good moments and her bad moments,” he said.
Goodson is the first Lumberton police officer to die in the line of duty since 1936. The last lawman to die while on the job in Robeson County was a sheriff’s detective in 1993.
Funeral arrangements for Goodson are being handled by Colvin Funeral Home, at 1904 East Elizabethtown Road. The day and time of the funeral will be released this afternoon, a funeral spokesperson said.