Man convicted of murder in teen’s death gets life in prison

Bryan Goggins Jr. found guilty of 2nd-degree murder, as well as 3 counts of attempted 2nd-degree murder & possession of firearm by convicted felon

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man convicted in a 2016 shooting that left a teenage girl dead and wounded three adults will serve four consecutive life sentences in prison.

At Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Bryan Goggins Jr., 27, looked back to his family and shrugged after Judge Bruce Anderson Jr. sentenced him to four consecutive life sentences, plus 15 years on the gun charge, which will run concurrent.

A jury found Goggins guilty of second-degree murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after a weeklong trial last month and about an hour of deliberations.

The shooting happened Aug. 12, 2016, in Jacksonville’s Brentwood neighborhood.

According to prosecutors, Goggins’ mother called him to West 38th Street because she had been arguing with someone. When Goggins arrived, a family sitting outside would not tell him where the person was, leading him to pull out a firearm and begin shooting, prosecutors said. One of the bullets struck 14-year-old Tamia Sanders in the head, killing her. The gunfire also struck three adults, including Sanders’ mother.

“We are happy it is over, and Tamia, you can rest,” Kenyata Williams, Sanders’ mother, told News4Jax on Tuesday. “I wanted to scream but they said we couldn’t say no emotions, so I just waited until I got outside.”

Goggins represented himself in his murder trial and cross-examined witnesses who took the stand, including people he was accused of shooting, and even his own mother. Goggins, however, had an attorney present for Tuesday’s sentencing, during which both sides spoke in court.

“I ain’t no murderer. I got falsely convicted,” Goggins said.

It’s a statement his family is standing by. Goggins’ family members said they feel he deserves a retrial.

“Ain’t no justice. Ain’t no happiness and none of that. We all are sad. You all are sad," said Rodney Watson, Goggins’ brother. "We all took a loss.”

Sanders’ family members admitted they weren’t expecting the most severe sentence, but they said they’re thankful they got justice.

“I’m happy it’s over,” said Shamon Gregory, Sanders’ stepfather. “He will never see the light of day."

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