Christopher Cornelius Goins

Executed December 6, 2000 by Lethal Injection in Virginia

82nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2000
680th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
8th murderer executed in Virginia in 2000
81st murderer executed in Virginia since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Lethal Injection
Christopher Cornelius Goins

B / M / 20 - 27

Robert Jones
B / M / 3
Nicole Jones
B / F / 9
David Jones
B / M / 4
Daphne Jones
B / F / 29
James Randolph
B / M / 35
Girlfriend's Brother,
Girlfriend's Sister,
Girlfriend's Brother,
Girlfriend's Mother,
Girlfriend's Father

On October 14,1994, Christopher Goins entered the home of 14-year-old Tamika Jones, who was seven months pregnant with Goins' child. Goins proceeded to brutally murder Tamika's parents, her nine-year-old sister, Nicole, her four-year-old brother, David, and her three-year-old brother, Robert. Goins shot each of these victims at least once in the head.

Goins v. Commonwealth, 470 S.E.2d 114 (1996).
Goins v. Angelone, 121 S.Ct. 649 (2000).
Goins v. Virginia, 117 S.Ct. 222 (1996).
Goins v. Angelone, 226 F.3d 312 (4th Cir. 2000).
Goins v. Angelone, 52 F.Supp.2d 638 (E.D.Va. 1999).

Internet Sources:

Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

In July 1995, Christopher C. Goins was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Robert Jones. Goins had also been indicted for the murders of Daphne Jones, Nicole Jones, David Jones, James Nathaniel Randoph, Jr. and the malicious wounding of Tamika Jones, and Kenya Jones. Goins was 20 at the time of the crime.

Goins was raised by his mother who frequently used drugs in the presence of Goins. During his childhood Goins had virtually no positive adult role models in his family. His mother and aunt were drug abusers, another aunt died of AIDS contracted through intervenous drug use, and he had an uncle who served time in prison. Because his mother abused him, at the age of 12 Goins was forced to move to New York to live with his grandmother. His aunt, who provided mitigating evidence at his trial, testified that "Goins' mother never held, hugged, or nurtured any of her children. According to Dickerson [his aunt], Goins was devastated when his grandmother died, because she was the only person who had shown him any love." Goins' cousins also testified to the abuse Goins suffered as a child and stated that Goins was a kind man who liked to play with his six-year-old cousin Phillip.

Goins contested the Commonwealth's admission into evidence videotape of the crime scene. He felt that it provided no new evidence in the case because the identity of the victims was not contested. He believed that it would bias the jury more than it would help enlighten the case. However, both the trial court and the Appellate court disagreed with Goins and found that the tape could be admitted because it displayed motive, and intent

Goins also argues that he should have been able to view the results of the polygraph test given to Barry Scott who was present during the commission of the crime. Goins believed that he was entitled to any evidence which might help to prove his innocence. Because the Commonwealth's attorney stated he would have revealed any information to Goins which would have indicated his innocence, both the trial court and the Appellate court ruled that it was not necessary for Goins to view the results of the polygraph test.

In addition, Goins appealed the playing of the 911 call make by Tamika. During the conversation Tamika implicates Goins in the murders even though she witness the crimes. He believed that the statement was hearsay and thus inadmissible in court. However, because Tamika was in a state of excited utterance, both the trial court and the Appellate court ruled that the taped was admissible.

Goins has been on death row since July 20,1995.

Virginia Governor Gilmore Press Release

Richmond - "On October 14,1994, Christopher Goins entered the home of 14-year-old Tamika Jones, who was seven months pregnant with Goins' child. Goins proceeded to brutally murder Tamika's parents, her nine-year-old sister, Nicole, her four-year-old brother, David, and her three-year-old brother, Robert. Goins shot each of these victims at least once in the head. During the course of this killing spree, Goins appeared in the doorway of Tamika's bedroom and shot the pregnant teen nine times including three times in the stomach, one bullet fatally piercing the head of the unborn baby. He also shot her 21-month-old sister, Kenya, who survived. A jury convicted Goins of capital murder, four counts of first degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding, and seven counts of illegal use of a firearm in the commission of those felonies, and sentenced him to death. Upon review of the case, the trial judge imposed the jury's sentence. The convictions and death sentence were upheld on multiple appeals. "Upon a thorough review of the Petition for Clemency, the numerous court decisions regarding this case, and the circumstances of this matter, I decline to intervene."


A Dec. 6 execution date was set for Christopher C. Goins, who killed 5 people in a Gilpin Court apartment in October 1994. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Goins' appeal on Aug. 31, and Richmond Circuit Judge Thomas N. Nance set the date in a conference call with Assistant Attorney General Katherine P. Baldwin, defense attorneys Frank Salvato and Robert Stanley Powell from Northern Virginia, and city Commonwealth's Attorney David M. Hicks. Hicks and Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Claire G. Cardwell prosecuted Goins. Salvato acknowledged in the call that he had no legal grounds to object to the date. A last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court or clemency from Gov. Jim Gilmore appear to be the only possible obstacles to Goins' execution. Goins, 25, was convicted of killing James Nathaniel Randolph Jr., 35; Daphne Jones, 29; and 3 of Jones' children - Nicole, 9; David, 4; and Robert, 3. He also was convicted of maliciously wounding Jones' other 2 children, Tamika, who was 14 at the time, and Kenya, her toddler sister. Tamika also lost the 7-month-old fetus she was carrying at the time of the shooting. Goins was the father of the fetus, and authorities believe that was the motive for the shooting. Goins was sentenced to death for murdering Robert, to life terms in the other 4 deaths and to a total of 40 years for wounding Tamika and Kenya. Tamika testified at Goins' trial in June 1995 that she heard Goins talking to her mother shortly before the shooting and then heard a series of shots in 2 rooms before Goins appeared at her door and shot her 9 times. Goins also shot Kenya in the arm as Tamika tried to shield her sister, according to Tamika's testimony. Forensics experts testified that all the bullets and cartridge casings came from the same firearm, and a cartridge from the same .45-caliber Glock pistol was found in the apartment of Goins' girlfriend, witnesses said.

Fight the Death Penalty USA

A man who killed 5 members of his girlfriend's family was executed last night, hours after the Supreme Court and Gov. James S. Gilmore III declined to intervene. Christopher Goins, who fatally shot the parents and three of the siblings of his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend in the family's Richmond apartment, was put to death by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center. He was pronounced dead at 9:04 p.m., said Corrections Department spokesman Larry Traylor.

As Goins was brought into the death chamber, he said, "Look, we've got an audience." In his final statement, Goins said, "There's no God but Allah." Trial testimony indicated that Goins, who turned 27 Tuesday, had threatened to kill Tamika Jones and her family because he was upset that she was pregnant by him. Jones and her 18-month-old sister were shot but survived the 1994 massacre. Jones lost her unborn baby in the shooting. Goins was convicted of the murders of James Nathaniel Randolph Jr., 34; Daphne Jones, 29; and 3 of Daphne Jones's 4 children: Nicole, 9; David, 4; and Robert, 3. He was sentenced to die for the capital murder of Robert Jones and received 4 life terms and 73 years for the other crimes.

"I just want him off this Earth," Tamika Jones, now 20 and living in California, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch before the execution. "I just want him away from here so he can go to God and let God deal with it." Among those witnessing the execution were Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney David Hicks, who prosecuted Goins, and Detective C.T. Woody, the lead investigator in the case. Hicks said afterward that Goins "died showing no remorse." The execution was witnessed by members of the victims' family, including Tamika Jones. About 15 death penalty opponents protested in a field near the prison.

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 to deny Goins's appeal and request for a stay of execution. In his appeal, Goins said another man was in the apartment with him and killed the family. Gilmore denied a request for clemency about two hours before the execution. The execution was the eighth in Virginia this year and the 81st in the state since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. (source: Washington Post)


Virginia - Christopher Goins
Dec. 9, 2000 . . . 9:00pm (EST)

Chris Goins was 21 years old at the time he was sentenced to die by the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond. The circumstances of Goins’ trial and death sentence were unusual. Goins, an African-American, was brought to trial before a predominantly white jury drawn from rural Gloucester County, Virginia. Goins’ trial lawyer had asked for a change of venue due to extensive pretrial publicity within the city of Richmond. Instead of moving the entire trial or picking a venire that more closely represented the City of Richmond, the trial court selected rural Gloucester County where jurors would be selected and then brought by bus to downtown Richmond for the trial. Due to this strange circumstance, Goins requested that the potential jurors be questioned on the issue of whether any juror had any fear of a person of another race or believed that blacks were more violent than others. Despite no objection from the prosecutor, the trial court declined to ask jurors anything about potential racial prejudice. This issue is being presented in Goins’ petition to the United States Supreme Court. Also, Goins counsel provided him ineffective assistance of counsel. Despite having the ability to effectively cross-examine the lone eyewitness to the case (the only survivor to the shootings), Goins’ trial attorney did not bring out critical differences between her description of the events and the descriptions provided by Goins’ alleged accomplice. The only defense they had (that the accomplice was responsible) would have made a difference if properly presented. At sentencing his attorney failed to present significant mitigating evidence regarding Christopher’s earlier life. This evidence included the abuse suffered upon him by his family, his mother’s drug addiction, as well as his own psychological and medical problems. Despite all of these circumstances, the courts have turned down all appeals and Christopher is scheduled to die on December 6, 2000. (note: This alert was taken from a text submitted by Frank Salvato, Christopher Goins’ attorney.)