Goodwin: 'I Did What I Had To Do To Protect My Children'
Tanicia Goodwin, 25, was arraigned this morning in Salem District Court.
Tanicia Goodwin, 25, allegedly slit the throats of her two children, lit their apartment on fire and tried to prevent her son from leaving, before turning herself into Salem Police.
Goodwin, who pleaded not guilty, is being held without bail. She will be back in court on Monday, March 26 for a dangerousness hearing. Goodwin asked for a court appointed attorney.
According to the Commonwealth's Assistant District Attorney Melissa A. Woodard, the Salem Fire Department responded to the fire in unit 714B around 9:15 p.m.
Goodwin had fled to a neighbor with her 3-year-old girl who had a slit going across her throat from side to side, according to prosecutors. She left her daughter before leaving the building.
The Fire Department entered the apartment Goodwin resided in and found the internal doorknob had been removed as to prevent someone from exiting. Tape and rags were covering the sprinklers and the smoke alarms had been tampered with to prevent them from going off, Woodard said.
According to the prosecutor, police found containers of lighter fluid, matches and a lighter in the apartment as well as a large kitchen knife.
A Salem firefighter found the 8-year-old boy on a couch down a hallway in another room of the apartment with a "deep laceration" from side to side across his neck with his trachea visible, Woodard detailed as the court room gasped in horror. Woodard said the boy was able to open his eyes but not speak.
When firefighters and emergency personnel asked the boy if his mother did this to him, he nodded yes.
Police said lighter fluid was found on a window shade in the bedroom of the children and on the rug.
After the incident, Goodwin entered the Salem Police station, smashed a glass display case in the lobby, and said she "did what she had to do to protect my children."
According to police, Goodwin smelled of lighter fluid, had red liquid on her clothing and ash on her hands. Police said she had a "superficial" cut on her neck as well.
"I'm sorry, I had to protect my babies," she told police.
According to prosecutors, the children had to be wiped of lighter fluid before hospital personnel could treat them. The 8-year-old was medflighted to Children's Hospital Boston. The 3-year-old was brought to Children's Hospital by ambulance.
According to police, Goodwin said no husband or boyfriend hurt her children and asked how her children were doing.
The 8-year-old boy is listed in critical condition after surgery. The 3-year-old underwent surgery this morning.
A spokesperson at Children's Hospital Boston said they will not be releasing the condition of the children.
The penalty for armed assault with intent to murder is a state prison sentence of not more than 20 years. The charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and arson both carry a penalty of not more than 2.5 years in the house of correction or a state prison sentence of not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.