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Medford mom tweeted about threats before she was killed, detective testifies

Dante Taylor, 20, of Mastic, is charged with

Dante Taylor, 20, of Mastic, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 death of Sarah Goode, 21, of Medford. Credit: SCPD / James Carbone / File

In the days before a young Medford mother was raped and killed last year, she said on Twitter that she was being threatened, a Suffolk homicide detective testified Wednesday.

"Getting threatened for days now.. Is that the new thing to do?" Sarah Goode tweeted four days before she was last seen early on June 7, 2014. Her last tweet, which came within hours of her death, read, "Why do you . . . feel the need to follow me.. I'm bout to start taking you out on a journey."

Despite those messages, Det. John McLeer said police found no evidence that anyone was following or threatening her. His testimony came during cross-examination by John Lewis Jr. of Farmingdale, the defense attorney for Dante Taylor, 20, the Mastic man charged with first-degree murder in Goode's death.

But Lewis argued that Goode's Twitter feed showed others may have wished her harm. He noted that a friend of hers, Jayson Flores, was the last person seen with her.

Lewis said prosecutors should have provided the Twitter posts and other social media activity of hers under what is known as the Brady rule, which generally requires prosecutors to turn over evidence that is helpful to the defense. State Supreme Justice John Collins said he was sure prosecutors know their obligations under the Brady rule.

McLeer testified during a pretrial hearing before Collins to determine whether police had probable cause to arrest Taylor and whether certain evidence will be admissible at trial.

Goode, a 21-year-old medical technician, disappeared after a small party and her car was found the next day, smeared with blood and with a clump of hair caught in the doorjamb. Her body was found June 12 about a mile away in the woods in Medford. McLeer said police initially focused on Taylor because her cellphone records showed her last phone contact was with him.

Lewis also asked McLeer about police questioning of Taylor on June 10, before Goode's body was found.

Detectives took Taylor in handcuffs from outside his home and held him for eight hours, although McLeer said Taylor was not under arrest. Taylor declined to answer questions, but gave police permission to examine his car -- which they had already taken -- and his iPhone, and gave them fingerprints and a DNA sample.

When Taylor was arrested a month later in Florida, police got new fingerprints and a new DNA sample, and used those to link him to a palm print on Goode's car and semen from her body.

McLeer said after the June 10 questioning, Assistant District Attorney Janet Albertson told police not to even test the DNA sample. Lewis asked why.

"I've worked for Miss Albertson for 10 years," he said. "If she says not to do something, I don't do otherwise."

Lewis has argued the case against his client is tainted by improper questioning and searches.


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