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Family asks that woman accused of overdosing toddler be allowed at funeral

Published February 6, 2014 7:33 pm

Courts • Tooele mom is charged with second-degree felony child abuse homicide.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Family members of a Tooele woman charged in the death of her 2-year-old son are asking a judge to allow the woman to attend the child's funeral.

Jill Goff, 32, is suspected of inadvertently feeding her toddler an overdose of methadone. She is charged in 3rd District Court with second-degree felony child abuse homicide, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Goff is being held in the Tooele County jail without bail, and her first court appearance is on Monday. But family members pleaded in letters filed with the court Wednesday for Judge Robert Adkins to allow the woman to be released from the jail to attend her child's funeral on Saturday.

"She loved that little guy with all her heart," husband Cody Goff wrote to the judge. "I'm telling you, as the father to that child, she absolutely never meant any harm to that beautiful young person or any of her kids."

Jill Goff called 911 on Friday evening when the family discovered that the toddler, Aiden Goff, was not breathing. Emergency responders tried to save the toddler, but he died at the home at 485 Oak St., said Tooele police Capt. Paul Wimmer.

A funeral service is planned for the child on Saturday in Grantsville, according to the family letters.

"We are all devastated by this accident," wrote Margaret Goff, Aiden's grandmother. "Jill loves her kids and has always tried to be there with all the problems. I know she did not intentionally do anything to hurt the kids. I can't even imagine the pain she is feeling right now."

Court records do not indicate whether Adkins made any decision about the family's request.

Several hours after Aiden died, the boy's 8-year-old brother and 5-year-old sister turned up at the emergency room having also ingested methadone, police say. Both survived.

The 8-year-old told his aunt, and the 5-year-old told a detective, that their mother fixed a pink drink for Aiden, according to a probable cause statement. He did not like the drink so Goff had the 5-year-old taste it, and she said it was "gross," the statement adds. Jill Goff then had the 8-year-old taste it, and he said it tasted like medicine, according to the statement.

Investigators suspect the drink was Goff's colored, liquid methadone that was kept in a Gatorade bottle, Wimmer said.

"We think she may have inadvertently served it," Wimmer said Monday.

Goff told investigators that after the taste tests, she realized that she had poured the methadone and not Gatorade into the cup, according to the probable cause statement. Goff said she tried to get Aiden to throw up, then went to bed and took a nap with him, the statement adds.

"When asked, she said she didn't call [emergency responders] or poison control because she was scared," according to the statement.

Goff has no prior criminal history in Utah, according to a search of state records.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller