Catherine Joann Goins, age 39, entered a guilty plea on May 13, 2016, in the Superior Court for Catoosa County, Georgia, before the Judge Ralph Van Pelt to the offenses of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping. Catherine Goins was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility or benefit of parole.
Prior to the murder, Goins had attempted to arrange meetings with women who had infant children under the pretense of providing baby clothes. Goins had posted ads on Craigslist for this purpose. Goins was also falsely claimed to be pregnant and wore a prosthetic pregnancy belly to pass as being pregnant. Goins was trolling to steal a baby.
On September 19, 2014, Goins met Natalia Roberts, a young mother of two children. Goins invited Roberts to a residence in Catoosa County with the offer to give her baby clothes. After the two entered the residence, Goins directed Roberts to go down a narrow stairwell and then shot Roberts in the back of the head with a .380 caliber pistol as she descended, killing Roberts instantly. After killing Roberts, Goins stole Robert’s vehicle and took Roberts’ two children away from the residence for a brief period of time but ultimately returned. Upon returning to the residence, Goins attempted to clean up the crime scene. Goins initially told investigators with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, that she killed Roberts in self-defense as Roberts was burglarizing the residence. The forensic evidence at the scene contradicted this claim. Goins’ later confessed to Detective Daniel Thacker of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office that the self-defense claim was untrue.
Catherine Joann Goins was represented by Ms. Jerilyn Bell and Ms. Crystal Bice of the Public Defender’s Capital Defender Office.
The case was prosecuted by Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert E. (Buzz) Franklin, Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Allen Arnt, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Alan C. Norton.