- GOLDBERG TRIAL, DAY ONE: Ruthless Revenge Killing or Unfortunate Tragedy? Murder Trial Underway for Man Accused of Murdering Wife’s Boyfriend in Fortuna
- GOLDBERG TRIAL, DAY TWO: Witness Testifies That Accused Murderer Physically Fought With His Wife, Fired Weapon Near Her on Morning of Crime
- GOLDBERG TRIAL, DAY THREE: Nearby Construction Workers Testify They Saw Murder Suspect Casing House Before Tim Smith Was Shot Dead
- GOLDBERG TRIAL, DAY FOUR: Victim’s Wife Testifies She Heard Gunshots Then Ran Outside to Find Her Husband Dying on the Ground
Sept. 26, 2016, was the day “our entire life had just been destroyed in front of us and the person just drove away like it didn’t matter,” the son of shooting victim Timothy Smith testified today during the murder trial of Jon David Goldberg.
Tim Smith Jr., often burying his face in his hands as he testified, recounted as best he could the day his 42-year-old father was shot to death outside their home on Rohnerville Road.
“It’s the most traumatizing thing that’s ever happened to me,” Smith Jr. said. “I forced it out of my head.”
What he does remember clearly is that he was in his RV playing video games when he heard four events in rapid succession: a vehicle pulling up, a voice saying “I thought you were my friend,” gunshots, and a vehicle peeling out. Smith Jr. said it all went down in a matter of seconds.
Smith Jr. lived in an RV parked in his parents’ driveway. He didn’t pay much attention to the car pulling up, because there was a construction crew working there. It was the gunshots that caught his attention.
“I opened the blinds and I seen [Goldberg] clear as day,” Smith Jr. recalled under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Luke Bernthal. He said he crawled a few feet to the closet that contained his shotgun. He realized he had no ammunition. Then he heard his mother scream.
“I went outside because I was afraid he was going to attack her,” he said. He thought, “He’s going to fuckin’ shoot me, not my mother.”
When he got outside, he saw his mother on the porch and his father on the ground in a pool of blood.
“I just held my mom and told her it was going to be OK, that my dad was going to be OK,” he recalled. He said he didn’t know what else to say.
After trying to console his mother but before police arrived, Smith Jr. said, he went into his parents’ bedroom and started pulling his father’s guns out of their cases. He wanted to shoot the man who had just killed his dad.
But then he asked himself “How are you going to be as low as him? How are you going to be such a piece of crap?”
Smith Jr. said he had only seen Goldberg once before, and that was a brief glimpse the prior night. Goldberg and his father were out washing Smith’s fishing boat. They had spent the day fishing together, along with Goldberg’s wife Rachel Goldberg and their young son David.
It was because Goldberg had just learned his wife and Smith were having an affair that he allegedly went to Smith’s home and shot him five times.
The defense contends Goldberg was acting in self-defense because Smith reached for a gun in his pickup truck. Some witnesses have testified that the truck’s doors were open immediately after the shooting.
During a brief cross-examination today of Smith Jr., Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo asked about his testimony during Goldberg’s preliminary hearing. That hearing occurred just three months after Smith was killed.
During the hearing, Smith Jr. testified the truck door was open, and he didn’t know for a fact whether there were firearms in the vehicle. He also said he saw a gun on his parents’ bed.
“I think I had taken the gun out of the case and put it on the bed,” he testified today.
Smith Jr. said he and his father were close and “did everything together.
“I loved my dad so much,” he said.
Asked whether the man he saw holding a gun was in the courtroom today, he looked at Goldberg.
“I recognize him as the man who shot my father in front of me,” he said.
Testimony was expected to continue today before Judge Graham Cribbs, who is presiding over the trial. Since yesterday one jury has left and been replaced by an alternate juror.