A Beaumont man was sentenced Monday to death for the 2010 deaths of a Beaumont woman and her 16-year-old daughter.
A Jefferson County jury found Joseph Colone, Jr., guilty of capital murder after a nine day trial before Judge Raquel West in 252nd District Court.
Prosecutors said Colone killed Mary Goodman and her daughter Brianna after she witnessed him rob a game room in Beaumont.
When the judge read the verdict, several of Joseph Colone jr’s family members started crying. Colone didn’t have a major reaction to the verdict but mouthed the words “I love you” to a family member as they left the court room.
Prosecutor Pat Knauth said the DNA evidence helped the state win their case especially when they found Mary Goodman’s blood inside Colone’s getaway car. The prosecutors said Colone escaped from the murder scene with his girlfriend Ebony Andrews in her white dodge charger. The prosecutor also found Goodman’s blood on a glove Colone was wearing at the murder scene.
“The jury focused on evidence and brought this family, the Goodman family justice after a long period of time,” said Knauth. “We are glad that we took this violent dangerous criminal and put him where he needs to be.”
The victim’s family members said they are glad justice was served after the sentence.
The jury had the choice to sentence Colone to life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
“This is not a casual decision it was very deliberate, this person had a lengthy history,” said Knauth. “All of his history was violent, this was as bad as you can and the jury has spoken,” said Knauth.
Before the sentencing, Colone’s sister Alis Colone took the stand during the punishment phase of the trial.
She told the jury about how her brother was very protective of her when she was growing up. She explains he made good grades in school and planned on attending Texas Southern University to study nursing but detoured from that path.
Alis Colone told the jury that he also shared a strong bond with his 15-year-old daughter.
When Colone was in federal prison for a previous conviction she visited him several times to check on him. During their visits she talked to him about how their family was doing. She said Colone also expressed frustration that he was unable to be there for his daughter.
When cross examined, the prosecutors emphasized to the jury that the Colone his sister knew growing up is different from who he is now.
His daughter also took the stand, telling the jury she shared a strong bond with her father. She broke down in tears after the defense asked her how she felt about never seeing her dad at home with her again.
During closing arguments, the defense argued Colone was not a threat to anyone when he served time in prison in the past.
“All 12 of you have to push your individual button, if you don’t want to kill him you lift your finer,” said defense attorney Gerald Borque.
Borque also talked to the jury about how this decision could affect Colone’s daughter
“If you give her daddy the death penalty it won’t get better for her,” said Borque.
When prosecutors made their closing arguments they told the jury Colone will continue to be a threat to society.
“He is heartless, he premediated and plotted out the death of two people,” said Prosecutor Lance Long.
They showed the jury pictures of Mary and Briana at the murder scene for their final push for the death penalty. Many family members in the courtroom left because they could not contain their emotions.
Lastly, the prosecution pointed out Colone came from a good family who took good care of him.
“He knows better he chooses not to play by the rules,” said Long.
He explained Colone never learned his lesson after being incarcerated in federal prison for 7 years. He said his behavior will not improve if he serves life in prison because he will have nothing to lose.
“Someone’s going to be sentenced to death today either Colone or the next person who crosses his path,” said Long.,
It only took the jury about 2 hours to make their decision to sentence Colone to death.