Criminal Justice

Family lawyer at trial in ex-client's murder; was $24K legal fees dispute a factor in slaying?

An Illinois family lawyer being tried for the 2009 murder of his former matrimonial client had “dollar signs in his eyes” when he represented the slain woman in a child-support case against a former basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, a prosecutor said Monday.

Soon after agreeing to represent Nova Henry in the civil case against Eddy Curry, defendant Fredrick Goings, 40, himself began a two-year romantic relationship with his client, the government contended in opening statements in the Cook County Criminal Court trial. Then, shortly before Henry, 24, and her 10-month-old daughter with Curry were found dead in their townhome in Chicago’s South Loop, the defendant learned his client had hired another lawyer and was going to contest $24,000 he had charged her in legal fees, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jim McKay said Henry had gotten a protective order against Goings in 2007, but it had lapsed by the time of the slayings. Other evidence allegedly tying the family lawyer to the slayings includes a bullet found in his vehicle that matched the murder weapon and a claim that the then-3-year-old surviving son of Henry and Curry told his grandmother, near the scene of the crime, that “Fredrick did it.”

However, defense counsel told the jury there is no evidence directly showing that Goings is the culprit and said Chicago police honed in on their client without considering other suspects.

“The state is going to throw a lot at you and ask you to make some guesses about what happened,” said Brett Balmer, the assistant public defender representing Goings.

Curry is on the witness list for the case, but it isn’t certain that he will testify.

Additional coverage: “Lawyer Charged with Killing Ex-Girlfriend, Daughter of Knicks Player” “Chicago Lawyer Charged with Murder Had Four Battery Convictions” “Lawyer Accused of Murder Charged in Six Prior Violence Cases”

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