Woman found competent for murder trial

Cindy Goodwin

GOSHEN — An Elkhart woman has been found competent to be tried for an April 2018 murder.

Cindy Goodwin, 51, is accused of the April 1, 2018, shooting death of 50-year-old Johnny Mullins. Police investigating a possible overnight shooting found his body in a wooded area just north of a Visscher Drive apartment complex, and Goodwin was charged with his murder days later based on information from witnesses.

Her attorneys asked in November that she be evaluated by experts, saying she appeared to have significant memory loss and was unable to remember things from around the date of Mullins’s shooting.

Goodwin was in court Thursday to hear the results of those exams. She was found competent to stand trial following the court’s receipt of a third report at the end of August, after the previous two psychiatrists had disagreed, according to Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno.

“It appears to me that they found her to be competent to stand trial,” he said. “You have two evaluations saying she’s competent, and you have Dr. (Gary) Seltman saying the opposite. The ball is in your court.” 

She and attorney Jeffrey Majerek said they would accept the findings and not ask for an evidentiary hearing to discuss the three exams in court. Goodwin also agreed with Christofeno when he asked if she understood what was happening and was willing to move ahead to trial.

Majerek said he and attorney Peter Soldato haven’t been able to work with Goodwin yet on her defense, since they were waiting for the results of the exams. Christofeno agreed to reset her trial to Feb. 3.

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