Gulfport, MS – District Attorney Joel Smith announced today that Dannie Bergeron Jr., age 22, plead guilty this week to First-Degree Murder for the killing of Tiffany Goodman.
The defendant’s trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday and jurors were summoned and present when the defendant changed his plea of not guilty to guilty.
Circuit Judge Lawrence Bourgeois sentenced Bergeron to life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
The case began on April 7, 2018, when the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting at a residence on Mills Road off of Highway 53. When the deputies arrived on scene they located 27 year-old Tiffany Goodman in the garage of the house deceased from a single gunshot wound to the right side of her head. The homeowner’s son advised deputies he was with the victim prior to the murder and had met up with the defendant and another friend prior to going to the residence on Mills Road. The son further advised he witnessed the murder and identified the defendant as the shooter. The son told deputies he was speaking with the defendant’s friend inside the garage when the defendant shot the victim. While processing the scene, the defendant called the Sheriff’s Office and told them he was in California, but later admitted he fled to his father’s house in Washington Parish, Louisiana.
Deputies in Louisiana responded to the father’s house and arrested the defendant and also recovered a 0.40 caliber handgun that was later determined to be the murder weapon through ballistic testing.
“Deputies from Harrison County immediately responded to Louisiana and interviewed the defendant and the friend who was with him. Both individuals told deputies they had been using methamphetamine in the days leading up the murder. The defendant went on to tell the deputies he had never met with the victim, but he believed the victim deserved to be killed,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell, who prosecuted the case along with Chief ADA Crosby Parker.
During his plea, the defendant admitted to shooting the victim but did not remember very many details of the murder because of his extensive methamphetamine use. The defendant went on to apologize to the victim’s family and wanted to take responsibility for his actions. “This was a senseless and brutal crime that stems from the use of illegal drugs. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department did a tremendous job investigating this case and pursuing the evidence to make this guilty plea possible. This has been a very difficult time for the Goodman family and hopefully the closure of the criminal case can help with the healing process,” stated DA Joel Smith.