Man Faces First Degree Murder Charge for a 2005 Triple Homicide
A man previously convicted in state court of a 2005 triple homicide appeared by video conference at a preliminary hearing today in federal court, said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
“Clarance Goode Jr. has been charged for the 2005 murders of Tara Burchett-Thompson, her daughter Kayla, and Mitch Thompson in Owasso,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “My office is working diligently to ensure that violent criminals are held accountable in light of recent jurisdictional court decisions, and we will do so again in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Fries, who has more than 35 years of experience bringing violent offenders to justice, will lead the prosecution on behalf of the victims and their families.”
Clarance Rozell Goode Jr., also known as “C-Note,” 44, has been charged with murder in the first degree in Indian Country. Goode’s state conviction was overturned in March based on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’ ruling recognizing the Cherokee Nation Reservation had never been disestablished and that crimes occurring on the reservation involving Native American victims or defendants fall under federal and tribal jurisdiction.
Based on evidence presented in the criminal complaint and affidavit, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jodi F. Jane found probable cause to continue to trial and ordered Goode Jr. be held in custody as the case proceeds in federal court.
According to court documents, Goode Jr., along with accomplices Ronald Dwayne Thompson and Kenneth Dominick Johnson entered an Owasso residence and shot and killed the three victims on Aug. 25, 2005. Mitch Thompson and Tara Burchette-Thompson were asleep in the master bedroom, and 10-year-old Kyla Burchett was asleep on a pallet next to their bed when the murders occurred. The child’s primary residence was with her grandparents but had convinced them to let her stay at her mother’s home that night.
The next morning, Kayla Burchett’s grandmother went to the residence to pick up the young girl, discovered the victims and contacted authorities. At the crime scene, multiple 9 mm and .357 Sig Sauer spent cartridges were located in the master bedroom. Other smaller diameter apparent bullet holes were found in the bedroom wall.
During the investigation, authorities discovered an alleged inter-familial dispute, which involved attacks with baseball bats, occurring between the victim Mitch Thompson and Ronald Thompson. Witnesses reported hearing threats made by Ronald Thompson and Clarance Goode Jr. to “even the score” during those attacks, other harassment, and drug transactions.
Tulsa Police officers located Thompson, who allegedly named Goode Jr. and Kenneth Johnson as coconspirators. During an interview, Thompson stated that he went to another room in the house initially until he heard the gun shots and a scream. He stated that he entered the master bedroom where Goode Jr. ordered him, at gunpoint, to fire his weapon, but he claimed he didn’t aim at the victims. Goode Jr. also allegedly told his girlfriend about the killings and told her to “watch the television” if she didn’t believe him.
The FBI is the lead investigative agency in cooperation with the Owasso Police Department, who was the primary investigating department at the time of the crime. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis A. Fries is prosecuting the case.
This matter will proceed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, where the criminal complaint is currently pending. A complaint is a temporary charge alleging a violation of law. For the case to proceed to trial, the United States must present the charge to a federal grand jury within 30 days. Once a grand jury returns an indictment, a defendant has a right to a jury trial at which the United States would have the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.