NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A North Charleston man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his stepson.
A Charleston County jury deliberated for nearly two hours on Friday before convicting Leonard Goodwin, 58, of killing Eric Robinson in 2006.
Authorities say Goodwin shot Robinson because Robinson was using the home telephone while Goodwin was expecting a call.
Robinson was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time. She overheard an argument, and then the line disconnected.
Twenty-four days later, North Charleston police received a call from Mary Anne Robinson, Eric's mother and Goodwin's wife. Mary Anne Robinson told police of a smell coming from underneath her home.
North Charleston Police responded and found Eric Robinson's partially decomposed body beneath the house. After police discovered the body, Leonard Goodwin went on the run and remained a fugitive for three years before being arrested in 2009.
An autopsy showed that Robinson had been shot in the head. Other evidence showed Goodwin treated Robinson's body with chemicals in an effort to keep the body from being discovered. A liquor bottle with Goodwin's DNA on it was found near the body along with cleaning supplies.
Goodwin was also convicted of assault and battery with intent to kill in 1987. Judge Kristi Harrington took facts from both crimes into consideration before handing out a life sentence.
"We are grateful that Judge Harrington gave the max for a man who devastated a family and then thumbed his nose at justice for three years," said solicitor Scarlett Wilson.