Teri Lin Goddard
dressed in the same blood-stained sweatshirt and Levis she wore the night she stabbed her boyfriend to death - fought back tears as she told a 3rd District Court jury she didn't mean to do it.
The mother of two testified Wednesday that she grabbed a knife from the kitchen to protect herself from three women she had just been arguing with down the block. She said she was holding the knife in front of her when Derek G. Hall, 33, grabbed her, threw her into a chair and held her there.In the middle of Judge David Young's courtroom, Goddard slumped down in the same chair stained with Hall's blood and re-enacted the June 2 scene. She said Hall knelt between her legs and grabbed hold of her hand that was clutching the knife, the blade still extended outward.
"It's like . . . he leaned down on top of me," she said of the stabbing.
Goddard said she then remembered Hall, her live-in boyfriend, pushing himself away from her. "I remember he said, `What did you do? Stab me in the heart?' "
She told the four-man, four-woman jury she thought Hall was playing games with her when he fell backward while still on his knees. "It's really strange, because that's when I noticed a really small amount of blood (on his chest)," Goddard said.
"I looked over and remembered seeing the knife in my hand."
Moments later, she said her 7-year-old son woke up and approached her. "He said, `Mommy, I think Derek's dead!' And I said, `Oh my God. Go call the police.' It was just like a dream or something."
Witnesses earlier testified that Goddard hysterically ran around her Rose Park neighborhood about 12:45 that morning, pounding on doors, yelling for someone to call the police because she had just stabbed someone.
"Did you intend to hurt Derek?" asked defense attorney Brooke Wells.
"No, ma'am. Never."
"Did you know that you had hurt Derek?"
"At the time, no. I did not."
Police officers that responded to the scene said the "irrational" Goddard - charged with second-degree murder - screamed that she hadn't meant to stab him and hoped he was all right.
But other witnesses testified that the stabbing was likely intentional.
Sharon Schnittker, deputy assistant director for the Utah State Medical Examiner, said Hall died from a single stab wound that penetrated the outer wall of his heart.
"In my opinion, the wound was inflicted by a thrust into the body rather than someone falling on the knife," she said. "I saw nothing to indicate the wound was accidentally inflicted."
Except for a small "defensive wound" on Hall's hand that he could have received when trying "to thwart off a blow," Schnittker said she found no other signs of wounds or trauma on the body.
Prosecutors say Goddard stabbed Hall as part of a "continuing domestic disturbance" that had been occurring the evening before. A neighbor testified she heard the defendant threaten to kill Hall as he drove by their house six hours before the stabbing.
Goddard was heard to say, "He tried to attack me, so I stabbed him. I think he's dead," prosecutor Rodwicke Ybarra said.
A social worker also testified that she referred Goddard to a doctor because she believed Goddard had a hyperactivity disorder.
The jury was expected to deliberate the case Thursday afternoon.