‘I’ve been cheating on my wife, I need to figure out how to get rid of [my sidechick] ’ – Charmane Goins to friend
Married motivational speaker Charmane Goins, 39, is on trial on charges of murder for the 2014 killing of Lauren Janay Taylor between Oct 7 and 8, 2014
Goins, a married father-of-one, was having an affair with 26-year-old Taylor
Cops allege Goins strangled his mistress, and burned her body in a park after she threatened expose their trysts to his wife
Witnesses say he picked Taylor up on Oct 7, 2014, her charred remains was discovered in a public park a day later
Goins an ex-con who did 15 years for armed robbery, was a member of Gangster Disciples street gang, before turning his life around
He settled down, first buying a restaurant, then became motivational speaker and mentor
He was arrested in Dec 2014, charged with malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault
Charmane Goins is on trial for the 2014 murder of Lauren Taylor, his alleged mistress
A former gang member and well known motivational speaker at high schools, nonprofits and churches about turning his life around is on trial charged with homicide, borne of an affair gone wrong.
Former Georgia criminal-turned-motivational speaker, Charmane Goin, is on trial for allegedly strangling his mistress and then disposing of her body by burning it in a public park in Gwinnett County.
39-year-old Goins, a key man in Chattanooga’s Violence Reduction Initiative has gone from pleading with gang members to stop the violence to the dock charged with killinghis mistress.
Police in Gwinnett County say Goins strangled 26-year-old Lauren Janay Taylor, then burned her body and left the remains in a park. Investigators say Goins who is married with a young daughter, was having an affair with Taylor.
Goins was arrested in December 2014 on charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault stemming from the killing of 26-year-old Lauren Janay Taylor.
Taylor who had criminal record included prostitution charges [2013 mugshot right], allegedly sent a text to her lover stating: “Don’t answer you phone one more time,” Taylor allegedly wrote, “and see if I don’t call your wife.”
Did a threat of blackmail backfire?
That is the theory the prosecution will have to prove.
A few days before Lauren Taylor, a Dalton resident was found strangled and burned inside a Gwinnett County park, Charmane Goins the touted reformed ex-gangsta and former convict who was helping her find a job while the pair engaged in an extramarital affair, sought advice from a friend.
“He said … ‘I’ve been cheating on my wife,’” Gwinnett County police Detective Doug Boyd testified Thursday. “‘I need to figure out how to get rid of [the mistress – Taylor].’”
The friend reportedly told Goins that acting on anything along those lines was “a bad idea.”
Gwinnett police believe he did it anyway.
The friend later turned him in, claiming he didn’t want to be involved anymore.
Lauren Taylor’s charred remains was discovered in DeShong Park in Gwinnet County, Georgia [photo], in Oct 8, 2014
Taylor’s charred remains were discovered by a couple walking their dog in DeShong Park on October 8, 2014. He’s the second person involved in violence reduction initiative – to be arrested at the time.
Autopsy established that Lauren Taylor, who was living as a transient, had been strangled to death, doused with gasoline and then set alight in the middle of the night in the public park.
Eye witness accounts firmly pointed at Charmane as friends of Taylor told authorities that she had been picked up at a friend’s house in Rising Fawn, a small town about 30 miles southwest of Chattanooga, on the afternoon of Oct. 7. The man who picked her up, the friends said, was named Charmane.
Prosecutor Daryl Mans told the jury on Tuesday that there is DNA evidence indicating that hair found in Goins’ trunk after his arrest belonged to Taylor, according to reporting by Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Yhe prosecution it is alleged, will be present quite a few direct evidence against Goins during the trial this week, that will include cellphone data tracing his route from Rising Fawn, Georgia, where he had allegedly picked up Taylor, to a spot off on the Interstate where his phone was switched off.
In her opening statement on Tuesday, Goins’ defense attorney Wanda Jackson pointed a finger of blame for the murder at another man, who has not been charged in this case.
Jackson told the jurors the victim had lived with that man and his wife for a month before they asked her to leave.
After Taylor’s killing, Goins was found reeking of gasoline and with scratches on his arms. He said the smell and the scratches were from his job.
The defense lawyer also argued that just because her client had an extramarital affair with Taylor, it does not mean that he is guilty of murder.
Goins’ arrest for Taylor’s murder in late 2014 was a dramatic reversal of fortune for the one-time member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, who was able to turn his life around and become a prominent motivational speaker after serving 15 years in prison for an armed robbery.
After leaving prison, Goins opened his own restaurant. When it closed, he joined the staff of the non-profit organization Launch and became part of the Violence Reduction Initiative in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he lived at the time.
As part of the program, which was the pet project of Mayor Andy Berke, Goins spoke at high schools and churches about his journey from being a convicted criminal to a mentor.
Gwinnett Daily Post reports that a few days before Lauren Taylor’s body was found in the park, Goins had come clean to a friend about his affair and told him he needed ‘to figure out how to get rid of [Taylor],
Crystal Taylor is seeking justice for her daughter and believes Goins is responsible for her death
When police initially spoke to Goins, he told them he and his wife had being paying for her hotel rooms and help her find a job. He later admitted to an affair with the younger woman, whose criminal record included drug possession and prostitution charges.
He claimed that on October 7, 2014, he had picked up Taylor and dropped her off at a mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
After her scorched body was discovered in the Georgia park, police went through her cellphone and found text messages from October 6, in which the woman allegedly threatened to expose her tryst with Goins to his wife.
In court Thursday, Lauren’s mother, Crystal Taylor, said after the hearing that she knew of Goins’ family but didn’t know him personally.
Tearfully, she added: “It was very heart-wrenching to see him in person, sitting there with a smirk on his face and knowing what he did to my daughter,” Taylor said. “It’s like he’s not worried about anything, he’s not concerned about what he did or the evidence or anything.”