Malden woman faces trial for conspiracy

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Daily Dunklin Democrat

KENNETT, Mo. -- A rural Malden, Mo., woman will stand trial for her role in an alleged murder-for-hire plot last November.

Shirley Kay Goodman, 48, mother of a man also suspected in the plot, appeared Friday in Dunklin County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing on charges of conspiring to commit first-degree murder.

Arraignment will be Feb. 27 in Dunklin County Circuit Court.

After hearing testimony from three prosecution witnesses, Judge Dan J. Crawford ruled there was probable cause for the charges.

Buick and $100

Aaron Matthew Povilat, 23, of Malden testified that on Nov. 17 or 18 David Goodman stopped him and "asked him for a favor" -- to kill Goodman's estranged wife, Christina.

Povilat said he refused, but when Goodman persisted, he agreed to find someone to do the job. He said he did this to find out about what Goodman wanted done so he could inform police.

Povilat said Goodman wanted his wife killed to gain custody of the couple's daughter whom he suspected was being abused and molested.

Povilat said Goodman offered his 1983 Buick Regal and $100 cash to have his wife killed; Goodman's mother said she would put up the cash as she wanted it done as much as her son. Povilat said he contacted Malden police and told his story to an officer, who looked at him as if he were crazy. Povilat then called the FBI, which suggested he contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The patrol provided undercover officer, Michael George, who Povilat was to introduce as a hit-man.

George, an agent with the Bootheel Drug Task Force, testified that he went with Povilat to the Goodman home and met with David Goodman who, after George was introduced as the hit-man, offered a couple of suggestions for killing his wife, such as blowing up her house or cutting off her head.

Goodman gave George the keys to his car as down payment for the murder and agreed to hand over the cash after Christina Goodman was killed.

Recorded conversations

George testified both he and Povilat were wearing recorders during their meeting with Goodman and another recorder was in their unmarked vehicle. Those recordings are being held in an evidence locker in Pemiscot County.

Patrol Sgt. Jeff Heath testified that he went to the Goodman home to interview Shirley Goodman about the alleged murder-for-hire plot. This was following the arrest of David Goodman.

Heath said Shirley Goodman said she had overheard her son and a friend talking about killing her daughter-in-law and had said she would give the $100. She said she was just kidding when she said that and that she didn't have any money.

Heath said a search of her purse found an envelope containing $480 and a checkbook with a balance of $1,200.

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