Heroin Killed the Cheerleader. Then Came an 'Unusual Charge'

Inside the looming trial in connection with the death of a Tampa 17-year-old
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2019 11:01 AM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2019 6:43 AM CST
Heroin Killed Her. Should Her One-Time Boyfriend Be on Trial?
Who bought the heroin?   (Getty Images)

Katie Golden was a fan of Titan Goodson, but she seemed to mostly be alone in that department. The Florida 17-year-old's parents disliked him, writing him off as a bad influence on the college-bound cheerleader. The grandparents he lived with thought he might be doing drugs and planned to force him out of the home once he turned 18. But the two had dated all the same. They weren't dating when she overdosed on April 15, 2017—she was taken off life support three days later. But they were together in a Tampa condo and had been doing heroin, details that will be heard at Goodson's March trial for manslaughter. At the Tampa Bay Times, Dan Sullivan writes that "a criminal charge for an accidental overdose is unusual," though it's slowly becoming less so.

Prosecutors allege Goodson supplied the drugs and didn't take sufficient action to save Golden once she overdosed; he told detectives they had snorted heroin around 8pm the night before, and he woke up four hours later to discover he couldn't rouse her. He said he called his father, a known heroin user, and followed his advice to ice her down. He noted an improvement but awoke at 5:30am to find her not breathing and called 911. "She's dead. She's been dead for ... hours," he cried. His defense counters that it was an accident and that Golden was a "junkie" (she had been to rehab, though her parents didn't know she used heroin) who supplied the drugs that day, something Goodson has maintained since that first police interview. (Read the full story for more on what police have found about their movements prior to using the heroin.)

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