Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Killing Pregnant Friend, Stealing Baby

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 30, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Killing Pregnant Friend, Stealing Baby

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 30, 2003

Holdenville, OK (LifeNews.com) — A woman who is charged with killing her pregnant friend and taking her unborn child has pleaded innocent in a strange case that is garnering national attention.

Effie Goodson, 37, had told people for as long as 10 months that she was pregnant and expecting a baby, and went so far as to participate in a baby shower that friends organized. Now she is charged with shooting and killing her 21 year-old friend Carolyn Simpson and using a knife to carve out her unborn child.

Police say that Goodson lured Simpson, a casino worker, into a friendship with her by promises of free baby clothes and a crib.

Goodson told her husband she had given birth to the baby alongside a road near their home.

Then, when Goodson brought the dead unborn child to a hospital and claimed to be the mother, doctors contacted the authorities when they determined there she could not be the mother of the baby boy and wasn’t pregnant recently.

A hunter found Simpson’s body in a small town 160 miles from Oklahoma City. Simpson was six months pregnant at the time of her death. Her body was sliced open along the side of her abdomen and the umbilical cord had been cut.

Prosecutors are charging Goodson with the murder of both Simpson and the unborn baby. She pleaded innocent on both counts.

According to the Associated Press, she clutched her stomach during the sentencing hearing and claims she was sick because she as suffering from withdrawal as a result of not having an unspecified medication.

Goodson is due back in court January 27th.

The case could refocus national attention on unborn victims laws, that allow prosecutors to hold criminals accountable when they kill or injure an unborn child in association with an attack on a pregnant woman.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, Oklahoma is one of 13 states that provides partial protection for unborn children killed or injured. The killing of an unborn child after viability is considered manslaughter under state law. Fifteen other states provide full protection for unborn children during the entire course of pregnancy.