Rape Trial Revisted: The Makeup of the Mall Rapes


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Fingerprint comparison was the topic of the testimony Thursday morning in the third day of the Donald Good’s trial.

Good sat calmly in court as a fingerprint identification expert with the Huntington Police Department's Forensic Investigation Unit detailed his analysis of fingerprints found on Janet Johnson Smith's driver's license from 1987. He showed how the prints on the license matched the known prints of Donald Good.

The prosecution then rested its case.

With repeated denials and accusations of mishandling evidence, Donald Good took the stand Thursday in his own defense.

“I'm fighting for my life. Excuse me if I'm nervous,” said Good.

Hand in hand, rape victims Rebecca Mowery Hobson and Janet Johnson Smith held on for dear life as they listened to their accused attacker speak for the first time since their attacks in 1987.

“I didn’t do this. This has been a horrible nightmare for me,” said Good.

“You heard them say the semen on the skirt and panties was yours, how do you think they got there,” asked Chris Chiles, Cabell County Prosecutor.

“Fred Zain made mistakes in 1987, you all could have made mistakes again,” said Good.

“Fred Zain is dead,” shouted Chiles!
“So, he couldn’t be responsible for this,” finished Chiles.

Good also produced paycheck stubs for his full-time job covering some days in January and February of 1987, he did not have a stub for January 22 or February 16, the days of the rapes.

“I was at work those days. I worked everyday whether the kids were in school or not,” said Good.

“This of these women and convict this man, hold him accountable for his actions 24 years ago,” said Peggy Brown, Assistant Prosecutor.

“They made mistakes before, they’re making them again. Don’t be guilty of railroading this man,” said John Laishley, Defense Attorney.

We spoke with the victims, Janet and Rebecca, after Good's testimony. Both said his testimony was almost laughable. But, Rebecca said she did get chills. She said even 24 years later, she remembers the voice of her attacker and Good's voice matches exactly.

After hearing testimony, the defense rested and handed the case over to the jury.

They jury heard closing arguements and received their instructions in the case. About 4:25 p.m the jury began deliberations in the case. An hour later, the jury decided to wrap up for the day and reconveine at 9 a.m. Friday.

The much awaited decision from the jury will hopefully be reached on Friday.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Emotional testimony from an ex-girlfriend and DNA evidence were the main points in day two of the Donald Good trial.

"How would you describe Donald Good's personality during your relationship,” asked Chris Chiles, Cabell County Prosecutor.

“Controlling. He had to be in charge,” said Brenda.

“Did he get physical,” asked Chiles.

“Yes,” responded Brenda.

“Did he get physical during sexual intercourse,” asked Chiles.

“Yes,” said Brenda.

That was the testimony from one of Good's ex-girlfriends during the trial. Known as only Brenda to WSAZ.com, she took the stand and spoke to the character of Good and of her experiences with him. Brenda dated Good during the time period of when the rapes happened. Good was married at the time, but Brenda and he still had a sexual relationship.

There are some overriding themes that started Tuesday with the testimony of the two rape victims from 1987. The women said that whomever attacked them was uncircumcised. Both victims have also emphasized their attacker had a strong odor of garage grease and motor oil.

DNA has really been the spotlight during testimony. Several experts from the 1987 Woodall case testified. Lt. Brent Myers, WV State Crime Lab Supervisor of DNA Analysis spoke about the process of DNA testing and the samples entered that matched Good's DNA.

Lt. Myers testified that there is no other way the DNA could have gotten on the victim's skirt and panties, unless Donald Good deposited it there.

More expert witnesses are set to take the stand Thursday as the trial continues.

Day three of the trial is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The trial of accused mall rapist Donald Good kicked off Tuesday morning in Cabell County. Judge Alfred Ferguson is presiding over the case, even after Good filed motions to recuse him from the case earlier i the month.

Good is charged in a 22 count indictment that was released back in October. The charges include kidnapping, sexual assault and sexual abuse. They stem from the 1987 abductions of two women on separate occasions from the Huntington Mall who were then taken elsewhere and raped repeatedly

Shortly after 1 p.m. a jury had been selected after hours of questioning to possible jurors. The jury consists of 6 men and 6 women.

“Power, control, violence and terror.That's what this case is about -- those four words,” Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles said.

“Just as mistakes were made then, they can be made now,” said John Laishley, Good’s defense attorney.

Opening arguements came about 1:30 p.m. Prosecutor Chris Chiles spent almost 40 minutes breaking down what he was going to try to prove in the case, followed by Good's attorney John Laishley explaining why Good had to be found not guilty.

The two women who investigators say were raped by Donald Good back in 1987 were the first witnesses for the prosecution. During testimony, Rebecca (Mowery) Hobson gave the court a detailed and graphic account of the alleged kidnapping and attack. During cross examination by Good's attorney, Hobson admitted she couldn't identify her attacker visually then or now. She testified that she kept her eyes closed during the ordeal.

The second victim, Janet (Johnson) Smith, also testified about what happened to her.

“He told me to get my head down and then he told me to do what he wanted or he’d kill me. I really thought he was going to kill me,” Hobson said.

Janet Johnson Smith was 23 in February of 1987 when her life changed forever.

“He tried to get me to go down on him,” Smith said.

But, Good's family isn't buying any of it.

“Our brother isn’t guilty. He’s not capable of any of that. I just can’t believe this,” said Pamela Hayes, Good’s sister.

The trial will resume Wednesday morning with testimony from West Virginia State Trooper Mike Parde. He's the man responsible for following a tip and a hunch that eventually led to Good’s arrest in this case.

That match was made last summer when a DNA crime data system struck a match between DNA found on the victim's clothing with Good's DNA, who was in prison for another crime.

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