PROVO A man on trial for allegedly holding a gun to his wife's head took the stand Wednesday and testified that on the night in question, he and his wife argued, he broke her cell phone, then he got sprayed in the face with pepper spray.
But there was no gun. And there were no threats to kill her.
However, Tuesday and Wednesday Justin Goodwin's wife, Daniela, testified that he twice put his Glock .40-caliber pistol to her head or throat and told her he would kill her and their 2-year-old son.
Justin Goodwin, on trial in 4th District Court for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and child abuse/neglect, broke down in tears several times as he talked about the night of Dec. 22. He said he came to Daniela Goodwin's home that night, where, despite discussions of a divorce, he had been sleeping for five to six days.
He said he bumped the bed coming in, and awoke Daniela, who had been sleeping.
"We started arguing about problems in our marriage, things she wanted me to do that I haven't done yet, money," Justin Goodwin said. The discussion also included their son, Tyler.
"In the divorce (papers), I asked for joint custody so we both could have him," he said. "There's things I want to do with him this summer, I don't want to be restricted to a time of when I can and can't see him."
The fight escalated to the point that Justin Goodwin broke Daniela Goodwin's cell phone, angry that she wouldn't answer his calls. It was then he said she sprayed him in the eyes with something.
"It was burning, it burnt real bad," he said. "It was like a sunburn on my skin. I thought I was going to go blind."
Prosecutors will begin cross-examination of Justin Goodwin this morning.
At this point in the account, the estranged couple's stories diverge.
Daniela Goodwin insists that during this fight, he pulled out a gun, she's not sure from where, and held it to her head, then handed her the phone, telling her to relay to 911 dispatchers that he was going to kill her.
"Isn't it true that he wanted you to ask 911 what he could do for his eyes?" defense attorney Dean Zabriskie asked her on cross-examination. "And that he went into the bathroom to wash his eyes out?"
"I don't recall," Daniela Goodwin said.
"Isn't it true that his eyes were almost swollen shut?" Zabriskie asked.
"They were red, but I wasn't sure if it was because of the drinking or pepper spray," she said.
Justin Goodwin said after washing his eyes out, he lay down and fell asleep on the bed.
Daniela Goodwin testified that he followed her into the kitchen and threatened her again with the gun.
While there she testified she told him, "I'm not going to die, not in front of my son," and at that point, he came back to his senses and went back to the bed to go to sleep.
Daniela Goodwin said she hid the gun and also went back to sleep next to her husband, though it was a fitful night, she said. She never called police.
Zabriskie asked why she hadn't told police about the second gun incident when she filled out a police report two days later.
"I was so stressed, I probably forgot it," she said. "There are multiple things I remember now ... that I didn't realize when the incident was fresh."
The morning after the fight, Daniela Goodwin testified her husband came into the kitchen. "He grabbed me from the back, kissed me on the cheek and told me, 'I know that you hate me, but I just want you to know I'm sorry,"' she said. "I told him it was too much. I didn't want to talk with him anymore. I told him to leave the house."
Two days later, Daniela Goodwin went to the police."I didn't want anybody to get involved," Daniela Goodwin said, when prosecutor Doug Finch asked why she didn't talk to 911 dispatchers when she had the chance. "It was going to be worse if somebody showed up. He would kill me."
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