A woman, who last week claimed she shot and killed a home intruder, has been charged with murder for planning the killing to steal the victim’s newborn, Catoosa County sheriff Gary Sisk revealed in a news conference this morning.
The shooting was a cold-blooded murder rather than defensive home invasion as the shooter originally claimed, the sheriff said.
In an 11 a.m. news conference Wednesday, Sisk informed the community that 37-year-old Catherine J. Goins of Hixson, Tennessee, lured 30-year-old Natalia Roberts of LaFayette into the home of her former boyfriend, Tony Richards, with the intention of killing her and stealing her newborn.
“Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, Catherine Goins murdered Natalia Roberts at 227 Smoketree Circle,” Sisk said. “We’re calling it murder, because that’s what it is. She flat out murdered her.”
According to Sisk, deputies responded to the scene on a call of an invasion and defensive shooting, but ultimately determined that Goins set up Roberts.
“She lured her there under the pretense of giving her some baby clothes for her newly born baby,” Sisk explained. “Once at the residence, Natalia was going down a flight of stairs where Catherine Goins shot her in the back of the head with a .380-calibur handgun.”
Sisk specified that Goins and Roberts had never met prior to the day of the shooting.
Sisk added that Goins was arrested Sept. 23, at approximately 7 p.m. at a residence in Marion County, Tennessee.
“She was arrested without incident by U.S. Marshalls and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office,” Sisk said. “She has sign extradition papers, and will be brought back to Catoosa County to face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.”
Sisk also said Goins attempted to clean up the scene before notifying Richards, who was at work at the time, about the shooting.
“She called the homeowner Tony Richards, and told him that she had shot someone in his house,” Sisk explained. “Tony instructed her to hang up and call 911. Instead, Catherine Goins took Natalia’s two children that were at the residence, one 3 years old and one 3 weeks old, put them in her car and left the residence.”
After learning of the shooting, Richards continued to talk to Goins on the phone after leaving work and attempted to calm her down while still trying to get her to call 911.
Sisk said Goins was not at the residence when Richards arrived home, and it was actually Richards who placed the 911 call at approximately 1:02 p.m.
Goins did, however, make it back to the residence before police showed up.
“She (Goins) did come back,” Sisk said. “She was there when law enforcement arrived and we questioned her that night, but there was still a lot of information we needed to obtain.”
When detectives began investigating the case, Goins claimed she was at the house and heard a noise within the home. She then went on to say that she heard a second noise and immediately ran to the bedroom where she retrieved a gun and fired it at a “darkened shadow” in the area of the hallway.
Sisk said that he has had every one of his investigators involved with the case since its inception Friday afternoon, and that “a number of man-hours have gone into this case.”
Ultimately, it was determined that Goins committed murder with the plan of taking Roberts’ newborn from her.
“Catherine Goins had been living a ruse that she was pregnant with her most recent boyfriend’s baby, but he had recently learned that she was not pregnant and left her,” Sisk explained. “Catherine Goins killed Natalia Roberts because she wanted her baby.”
The moments leading up to the shooting unfolded like something out of a bizarre crime novel.
When asked about the “luring” of the victim into the house, Sisk explained that Goins turned a would-be act of kindness into a horrific crime.
“Giving her baby clothes was the story she used to get her to come back to the house,” Sisk said. “She had just met her, she saw that she had a baby, and Catherine Goins needed a baby.”
The premeditated murder conclusion was drawn after it was determined that Goins never had any intention of giving Roberts or the child any clothing.
“There actually were no baby clothes,” Sisk said.
As for Tony Richard’s knowledge of the situation, it appears to be very limited at this time. Sisk said Goins met Roberts that day, all while Richards was working.
Richards has not been charged with any crime in this case.
“Tony Richards knew Catherine Goins was going to be at his house, because she said she was going to hang out there,” he said. “But there was no relationship between the victim and either of these people prior to that day.”
Questions remain as to why Goins felt she had to kill an innocent young mother to get a baby she coveted, or how she was going to explain the child to her boyfriend.
“There’s still a lot of questions that would be interesting to know the answers to, but this is what the evidence has presented so far, and these are the charges she’s facing,” Sisk said.
At the end of the news conference, Sisk admitted that cases like this aren’t too common around our area and that his office is still in a state of disbelief.
“It certainly shocks the conscience…. We’ve got a family that’s mourning the loss of a daughter, a mother of children, a granddaughter, a niece…. It’s just very shocking,” Sisk said.