Murder trial begins for man accused in girlfriend's strangulation

It isn’t a question of “if” but “why,” Todd Goff’s defense attorney told the jury seated Monday morning for his murder trial.

Goff, 25, is accused of murder in the July 7, 2012, death of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany Salter.

Assistant District Attorney Grant Usry said in his opening statement that Goff was the lone suspect in Salter’s killing. Goff called his mother about 6:30 a.m. that day and told her he had killed Salter, Usry said.

Defense attorney Danny Dur­ham told the jury there is no disagreement over who killed Salter: “The question is one of intent.”

After a day of drinking that stretched to the early morning hours of July 7, Goff and Salter got into an argument, Durham said. Salter started choking Goff and he did the same, the attorney told the jury. A death committed during the commission of battery is involuntary manslaughter, Durham told jurors.

Although the defense conceded Goff strangled his girlfriend, Goff’s mother testified that she was mistaken when she told the 911 operator and a sheriff’s investigator that her son said Salter choked him and he choked her and thought he had killed her.

“I was in shock. I was totally hysterical,” Johanna Cicco said of that morning. “I should be the one sitting there, not him.”

Goff’s brother, Ray Lockamy, was the first person to arrive at Goff’s and Salter’s home that morning. Goff took him to Salter, where Lockamy started CPR, Lockamy testified.

His brother was hysterical, screaming and crying, Lockamy said. Lockamy was upset, too; Salter had been a part
of his family for seven years, he said.

Testimony continues Tuesday.

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