Mental exams completed for woman accused of murder

Cindy Goodwin

GOSHEN — Two mental exams have been completed for an Elkhart woman who claims not to remember a murder she’s accused of committing last year.

Cindy Goodwin, 51, is suspected of killing 50-year-old Johnny Mullins at a Visscher Drive apartment complex on April 1, 2018. His body was found in a wooded area just north of the apartments the following day, and Goodwin was arrested and charged with his murder days later.

Her lawyer asked in November that she receive two psychological evaluations to determine if she’s competent to stand trial, writing that she seems to have significant memory loss and “is unable to retrieve previous memories of events around the date of the alleged incident.”

Court-ordered exams were scheduled for April and May at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center in Elkhart. The first was with a forensic psychiatrist and the second was with a specialist in geriatric medicine, neurology and psychiatry.

During a court hearing Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno said he has received the first report but hasn’t seen the second one yet. He indicated to Goodwin that he needs to review both to see if the psychiatrists agree on whether she’s competent to stand trial.

“We’re in a position where we don’t have the second report, so we can’t have a determination,” he said. 

Christofeno agreed to reset Goodwin’s June 17 trial to Oct. 7, after attorney Jeffrey Majarek observed that they wouldn’t be ready to go to trial in two weeks even if the second report came that afternoon. 

The judge also said as soon as he receives the second report, he will set a hearing the following Thursday to discuss the psychiatrists’ findings. He remarked to Goodwin that the court has to determine her competency before proceeding, one way or the other.

“You want to get this done, don’t you?” Christofeno asked her. 

“I’m tired, your honor,” she replied.

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