Goode charged with hindering, witness tampering linked to New London homicide

Sean D. Elliot/The Day Lance Goode turns to look around the courtroom as he appears before Judge Kevin McMahon Thursday, May 8, 2014 on Hindering Prosecution and Tampering with a Witness charges related to the August 2013 murder of Jesus "Gee" Pinero.

Lance Goode, who has a lengthy criminal history and is suing the New London police, was arraigned Thursday in connection with the Aug. 29, 2013, shooting death of Jesus “Gee” Pinero.

Goode, 45, of 98 Williams St. is charged with first-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with a witness, crimes that could land him in prison for up to 15 years if he is convicted. New London police said they arrested him following a motor vehicle stop on Garfield Avenue.

Goode has a pending civil rights lawsuit against city police claiming a former city police officer planted drugs on him during one arrest and that he was brutalized and bitten by a police dog during another. His wife, Lillian, whose minivan was seized during the homicide investigation, was in court Thursday and said her husband would be fighting the new charges.

At the arraignment, Goode stood before Judge Kevin P. McMahon, who has told Goode more than once that it might be a good idea if he moves out of the area. McMahon set Goode’s bond at $50,000 cash and transferred the case to the Part A court where major crimes are tried. Goode’s next court date is May 20. His wife said he would be unable to post bond.

Pinero, 29, died of multiple gunshot wounds after being shot near Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street. Earlier this week, city police retrieved his alleged killer, 28-year-old Keith Ramel Delvalle, from the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City and brought him back to Connecticut to face charges of murder, criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and commission of a Class A felony with a firearm.

Arrest warrant affidavits containing details of the case have been sealed by the court. Goode told The Day in September 2013 that he had been questioned by the police in connection with the case and that detectives seized his wife’s Town & Country minivan after telling him a “person of interest” had been in the car. He said a man he knows was one of many people wanted for questioning by the police. Goode said he has nothing to do with the shooting.

Goode has prior convictions for possession of narcotics, sale of narcotics, assault and failure to appear in court, according to Bail Commissioner Timothy Gilman. He has a pending reckless driving case stemming from September 2013, when police said he fled from detectives when they tried to stop him on Ocean Avenue to question him about the Pinero homicide.

Delvalle, the accused shooter who was arraigned earlier this week, was presented in the major crimes court Thursday for the first time. Judge Hillary B. Strackbein raised his bond from $49,900 cash to $175,000 cash, appointed attorney John E. Franckling to represent him and continued the case to May 15. State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan is prosecuting.

Another man arrested in connection with the Pinero homicide, Lance J. Brown of Uncasville, posted $200,000 bond on April 26 after being held since December. Police said they identified him through DNA on a Glock pistol, one of two guns that were found at the scene. They allege Brown was returning fire at Delvalle. He is charged with criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree reckless endangerment and illegal discharge of a firearm. Brown is due back in court May 15.

There was no DNA evidence linking the other gun — a .25-caliber pistol found on the ground nearby — to Delvalle, according to court testimony.

k.florin@theday.com

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