A state appeals court panel Friday upheld a former Pasadena resident’s conviction for fatally shooting his half-sister and wounding her teenage son in San Gabriel just over three years ago.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in the instructions given to jurors in Johnny Goins’ trial and that there was not substantial evidence to support his attempted murder conviction involving his nephew.
Goins — who is serving a 77-year-to-life prison term — was convicted of first-degree murder for the March 5, 2015, shooting death of his half-sister, Tanaya Goins and the attempted murder of her 13-year-old son, along with two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
Goins armed himself with a revolver and went to his sister’s apartment in San Gabriel in the early morning hours of March 5, 2015, then fired multiple times through a window and a door, Deputy District Attorney Presciliano Duran said after the verdict.
The 32-year-old woman asked her half-brother to leave before she suffered two fatal gunshot wounds — one to her head and one through her upper torso — and was pronounced dead at the scene, while her son suffered an apparent graze gunshot wound to his wrist, the appellate court panel noted.
Finding that the evidence was sufficient to “support an intent to kill” the teenage boy, the justices noted that Goins arrived at his half-sister’s apartment with a loaded handgun and knew the small size of the apartment and that his nephew had just come to the window in response to him knocking on the door.
Goins, who was arrested later that night at a Moreno Valley mall, was angry with his sister at the time of the crime, the prosecutor said.
The justices also refused to send the case back for re-sentencing under a new state law that gives judges the discretion to strike or dismiss certain gun enhancements. The panel found that it was not reasonably likely that the trial court would exercise its discretion to reduce the sentence, noting that the judge had called Goins’ crimes “particularly cruel and cowardly” and imposed the maximum sentence.