FRANKLIN - Within hours of being taken into custody Tuesday on a charge of terroristic threatening, Lucas Goodrum was able to post bond and was released.
Law enforcement officers were waiting in a Simpson County courtroom Tuesday to take Goodrum, 25, of Aubry, Texas, into custody after his domestic violence order hearing.
Goodrum was charged with third-degree terroristic threatening at the Simpson County Justice Center. The Simpson County Sheriff's Department and Franklin Police Department had officers in the courtroom.
Goodrum was arrested about 11:30 a.m. by Capt. Mike Rigg from the sheriff's department. Third-degree terroristic threatening is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $500.
Goodrum has been living in Texas since he was acquitted in 2005 of the murder of Western Kentucky University student Melissa “Katie” Autry, 18, who was beaten, raped, sodomized and set on fire in her Poland Hall dorm room May 4, 2003.
The threatening charges stem from comments allegedly made by Goodrum toward LaDonna Petrich and her fiancé, Kevin Watwood, both of Franklin.
Simpson District Judge Frank Wakefield found Goodrum guilty Tuesday of committing domestic violence and issued a domestic violence order, barring him from direct or indirect contact with Petrich, his ex-wife and mother of Goodrum's 6-year-old son, until March 2009. Goodrum can't come within 500 feet of Petrich, though Petrich must allow other members of Goodrum's family see her son.
Violating the DVO is a class A misdemeanor and is subject to the same penalties. But if Goodrum is found with a weapon, he can be charged with a felony in federal court, Wakefield said.
The misdemeanor charge and the domestic violence order stem from a phone conversation between Goodrum and Petrich and text messages between Goodrum and Watwood, according to the testimony from a DVO hearing and arrest complaint.
Petrich said Goodrum became upset when he learned she was getting married and fired two shots while she was on the phone with him. He also said he would be in the area with a surprise for her the next day. “He and my fiancé sent text messages back and forth as well,” she said. “I have read the text messages and they were pretty graphic.”
During questioning from Goodrum's attorney, Paul Hackworth of Bowling Green, Petrich denied that Watwood made threatening comments toward Goodrum.
Goodrum claimed during the hearing to not own a firearm, though Petrich pointed out that Goodrum's profile page on MySpace.com included a picture of him holding a gun. Goodrum said he didn't fire a gun while talking to Petrich; he said he was simply playing the video game “Grand Theft Auto” on a surround-sound system that was loud.
“I knew later she might have thought it was gunfire and that's why I told her it was a video game,” Goodrum said. “It could have scared anybody. It would have scared me.”
Petrich said she had no way of knowing if the sound she heard was a gunshot or from a game.
Wakefield asked Goodrum if he was upset Petrich was getting remarried. “Sir, I really don't care. I'm getting married myself. The only thing I'm worried about is my son,” Goodrum said.
Custody issues will be handled by circuit or family court to determine how to alter the DVO to handle visitation, Wakefield said.
Donna Dugas, Goodrum's mother, said after the hearing, “This is just plain ignorance.”
Goodrum and Hackworth left the courtroom without comment.
This is the second time a Simpson County judge granted Petrich a domestic violence order against Goodrum; she last received such an order in 2000.
Goodrum was taken to the Simpson County Detention Center, where he posted a $10,000 bond.