‘I Did What I Had to Do to Protect My Children,’ Salem Mother Tells Police After Allegedly Slashing Children’s Throats
The mother accused of slashing the throats of her two children and setting fire to her apartment told police she was trying to protect them and that she had planned to commit suicide after she killed her son and daughter, a prosecutor said in court today.
Tanicia Goodwin appeared in Salem District Court today where she was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing March 26. Goodwin, 25, wore a light-blue hospital smock and appeared disoriented but also asked the judge to assign her a court-appointed attorney.
The cruel violence stunned a neighbor and Goodwin’s landlord, who said she appeared to be a good mother, and had never caused any problems during the four years she has lived at the Salem Heights Apartments. A Salem police spokesman said the department had no contact with Goodwin until Sunday night.
Goodwin was arrested at the Salem police headquarters around 9:30 p.m. Sunday after she walked into the station, smashed a glass case displaying police patches, and then collapsed in the station lobby.
” ‘I did what I had to do to protect my children,’ ” she said to police, according to Essex Assistant District Attorney Melissa A. Woodard. ” ‘I am so sorry, Erica and Jamal.’ “
In a report filed in court, Salem police said that Goodwin’s shirt and pants were stained with blood. Her pants smelled of lighter fluid and she appeared to have soot on her hands.
Goodwin allegedly asked for a cigarette, but was denied one because her clothing, especially her pants legs, appeared wet with lighter fluid.
Goodwin allegedly said during a police interview, “I’m sorry I just wanted to protect my babies, momma loves you. You know I love you guys so much, momma loves you. I wish you were here right now. I just wanted to protect them, I’m so sorry Erica, Jamal.”
According to a police report, Goodwin asked if her children were okay, and an officer told her the children were being medically stabilized in order to be transported to Children’s Hospital.
Goodwin allegedly responded, ” ‘Thank you God, please keep them alive…’ “
As investigators continued questioning Goodwin, they were informed by other investigators that both children had indicated to paramedics and police with nods of their heads that Goodwin had wounded them.
As Goodwin was arrested, she alleged said: “I’m not supposed to be here, I’m not supposed to be alive.”