Sean Eugene Goode pleaded guilty to murder Friday before Whitfield County Superior Court Judge Jim Wilbanks and per a negotiated plea agreement received a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Goode’s only prior record was a misdemeanor marijuana conviction from 2006. Had he gone to trial he would have faced a maximum sentence of life without parole. By entering a guilty plea he received a standard life sentence for which he will become parole eligible in 30 years.
District Attorney Bert Poston handled the plea for the state. Goode was represented by Amanda McCoy of the Public Defender's Office.
On the morning of Nov. 11, 2020, Goode, 32, attacked his uncle, Ricky Lamar Pullen, on Pullen's front porch for reasons that remain unclear. (The sheriff's office said the attack occurred at 2785 Deep Springs Road.)
Goode, who lived next door, had spent the night at the residence and had eaten breakfast with his aunt and uncle that morning. Elizabeth Pullen had stepped inside to make coffee when she heard her husband cry out for help and found Goode on the ground with Mr. Pullen in a choke hold. She was able to get Goode off of her husband for a moment but then the attack continued. Deputies who responded to her 911 call found Goode still strangling Pullen and had to physically pull him off the victim, who was unresponsive. Pullen was later declared dead at the scene.
Goode told deputies he "had to do it" and made additional statements to law enforcement at a later interview. He attributed the attack to things Pullen had said, including on prior occasions, but did not claim self-defense or allege that Pullen had done anything to provoke the attack that day. Goode answered questions from the court during his plea but did not elaborate on his motive for the killing.
Pullen's daughter and daughter-in-law attended the sentencing hearing and presented victim impact statements. The family was supportive of the plea and sentence and glad to have some closure in the case which had until recently been expected to go to trial in November.