July 12th, 2024

Granum man sentenced in Tailfeathers case

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 8, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 53-year-old Granum man who helped dispose of a body nearly three years ago after the victim was brutally beaten to death, has been sentenced to one year in jail for interfering with a dead body.

Edward Alexander Goodrich pleaded guilty to the charge Thursday in Lethbridge court of justice, where the Crown described the vicious beating of Lane Tailfeathers by other individuals, and explained Goodrich was subsequently recruited to help clean up the gory scene and get rid of the body.

Randy Lee Giroux had been charged with second-degree murder in Tailfeathers’ death, but last week he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to a prison term of two years and nine months. His sentence was deemed served, however, and he was released from custody after he was credited for the equivalent amount of time he spent in remand since he was arrested.

Goodrich had also been charged with accessory to murder, in addition to interfering with a dead body, but it was withdrawn Thursday.

On the evening of June 20, 2021, Tailfeathers was at a residence in the 300 block of 20 Street in Fort Macleod with several other people. One of the individuals wanted to give Tailfeathers a beating to send a message to Tailfeathers’ cousin about a drug debt. The man enlisted the help of Giroux, as well as Richard Lavell and Miranda Turuk, who were also charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.

While Lavell held Tailfeathers in a headlock, Giroux struck him multiple times in the head, and Turuk struck him in the body and head with a small bat.

“The beating resulted in Lane Tailfeathers bleeding profusely,” Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox said. “At some point during, or shortly after the beating, Lane Tailfeathers died as a result of the beating.”

An autopsy concluded the cause of Lane Tailfeathers’ death was homicidal blunt force trauma.

Tailfeathers’ body was wrapped in a tarp then in the bloody carpet which had been removed from the floor of the residence, and the body was taken to a detached garage on the property. Goodrich and Michelle Lee Toth were later recruited help clean up the blood and dispose of the body.

At about 10:40 a.m. June 21 Goodrich helped move the wrapped body to Toth’s vehicle, and he filled garbage bags with blood-soaked rags and other items used to clean the area where Tailfeathers had been beaten and killed. He paid Toth $100 for gas, and at about 11:30 a.m. she and Giroux left the residence.

Goodrich left about four minutes later and disposed of the garbage bags filled with the blood-soaked rags in a dumpster in Fort Macleod. Tailfeathers’ body was rolled down a rocky embankment on a private gravel road northwest of Lundbreck Falls in the Crowsnest Pass.

Calgary lawyer Cory Wilson reminded the judge that his client was not involved in the actual killing, but admits his own involvement and is sorry for what happened.

“It was a terribly unfortunate and terribly tragic series of events that occurred afterwards,” Wilson said. “For that he is obviously here taking full responsibility for his conduct, and he is incredibly remorseful and he’s incredibly apologetic to the family. He wanted me to convey to the court, and through the court to the family, his deepest sympathies and his deepest condolences. He understands that his conduct, while he wasn’t directly involved with the killing, his conduct did assist in that process, and he said he is deeply sorry for that.”

Wilson said Goodrich did not know beforehand what had happened at the residence, but he received a message from a friend saying he needed his help.

“He went over to the house not knowing what had happened, walked into the scene and, there’s no way to put, made a series of very stupid decisions.”

Although sentenced to one year in jail, Goodrich was given credit for the equivalent amount of time he has already spent in remand custody, which completes his sentence. Toth, who was also initially charged with accessory to murder and interfering with a dead body, is similarly expected to deal with her charges next week.

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