A selfie led to an Elkhart man’s guilty conviction Tuesday, July 8, in Cass County Circuit Court.
Cass County Circuit Judge Michael E. Dodge found Deon Dominique Goodwin, 20, of Elkhart, guilty of conspiracy to commit home invasion in the second degree and home invasion in the second degree.
Goodwin drove with two others April 9 from Elkhart and broke into a residence in Edwardsburg.
During the trial, the homeowner testified he encountered the three individuals upon returning to his residence in the late morning. They came from the back of his home and ran to a red Mitsubishi SUV parked in the homeowner’s driveway.
Goodwin and the other two individuals told the homeowner they were looking for directions to South Bend.
When the homeowner called 911, the three individuals fled the scene in the SUV. The homeowner chased the SUV but lost them.
Deputies and police officers from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Edwardsburg-Ontwa Township Police Department continued the pursuit. They later found the SUV abandoned at another residence.
Neighbors helped law enforcers find the three individuals walking across a nearby cornfield. Goodwin denied any connection to the home invasion and the vehicle.
He told officers the three of them were held up at gunpoint during a drug deal.
When law enforcers searched the SUV, they found Goodwin’s debit card and phone. The phone contained a selfie of Goodwin.
Nothing was stolen from the Edwardsburg residence, but the homeowner said the back door to his home and garage were damaged. Several closed doors in the residence were open.
The SUV’s owner also testified during the trial. The vehicle was lent to the guilty party without permission by her granddaughter, who is in a relationship with Goodwin.
The granddaughter also testified during the trial, saying Goodwin borrowed the vehicle for a job interview.
When presented with this information, Goodwin admitted he lied and said he was dropping his friend off at his parent’s place.
Goodwin faces a maximum of five years for his convictions. His sentencing is set for Aug. 1 in front of Cass County Judge Michael Dodge.