09/21/06 — Man gets 12 years for 2004 shooting

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Man gets 12 years for 2004 shooting

By Lee Williams
Published in News on September 21, 2006 1:48 PM

A Superior Court judge ruled this week that Tavaris Kinte Woresly will spend the next 12 years behind bars for murdering a Goldsboro man in the summer of 2004.

Woresly, 29, of North Jefferson Avenue, was convicted of second-degree murder Wednesday for fatally shooting 30-year-old Laterance Gooding.

Gooding, of Hilda Place, was shot Aug. 22, 2004, in the 1100 block of North Jefferson Avenue, after an argument. Gunfire was exchanged, and Woresly also was wounded in the gun battle.

Dr. John Butts, who works at the state medical examiner's office, testified Tuesday that the bullet entered Gooding's shoulder and exited out of his thigh. Gooding, formerly of Kinston, died from complications when the fatal bullet damaged vital organs in his chest, Butts said.

Police headed to a parking lot near Jefferson Court Apartments after receiving a shots-fired call, and an investigation ensued. It took police only 45 minutes to catch the murder suspect.

Woresly maintained he acted in self-defense and also apologized to the family for the crime. But his words had no bearing on the jury's decision.

It took jurors about 55 minutes to return a guilty verdict against Woresly. Judge Jack Jenkins sentenced Woresly to a minimum of 120 months to 153 months in prison.

Family members raced out of the courtroom in a flood of tears as the sentence was handed down.

The trial began Monday and ended at 3:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Wayne County Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge presented the state's case. Attorney James Copeland represented Woresly.