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Witness recounts Sarah Goode’s last weekend at murder trial

Composite image shows slain Medford mother Sarah Goode,

Composite image shows slain Medford mother Sarah Goode, 21, and the man accused of killing her, Dante Taylor. Photo Credit: Facebook; SCPD

A Mastic Beach man who was a friend both to a young Medford woman raped and stabbed to death two years ago and the man charged with her murder testified emotionally and combatively Friday about the weekend of the killing.

Jason Flores, now 21, said that in June 2014 he had recently reconnected with Sarah Goode, 21, after she broke up with a boyfriend who had isolated her from her friends. He and Goode were so close they considered each other cousins, he said.

Flores said he also spent time with another friend, Dante Taylor of Mastic, now 20 — the man on trial in Riverhead, charged with first-degree murder. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted.

The evening of June 6, Flores said, he and Goode got together, grabbed a fast-food dinner and got a bottle of Hennessy cognac and some marijuana for the night ahead. Later that night, Flores said, he and Taylor had plans to meet some women in Patchogue.

During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Janet Albertson, Flores said he and Goode drank and smoked at a street party in Shirley. At one point, he said, Taylor walked up to their car and Goode offered him some marijuana.

“No, I don’t do that,” Taylor said, according to Flores, before walking away.

“That was the only time [that night] I saw them talk,” Flores testified.

He, Goode and some other friends smoked and drank some more at a friend’s house. About 1 a.m., Flores said, he decided to call it a night. He said he let Taylor know he wouldn’t be hanging out with him and asked Goode to take him home.

But she wasn’t ready for her night to end, and Flores, on the witness stand, got upset as he explained why.

“She had fun,” Flores said. “She was a great mother [to a 4-year-old daughter]. She had a nice job. She had a nice car. For anyone to take that away from her is a coward.”

“Stop, stop, stop!” Albertson snapped, stopping Flores from going further.

Flores later said it was a rare night out for Goode after her breakup with David Allen.

In his opening statement last week, defense attorney John Lewis Jr. of Farmingdale told jurors that the next morning, Allen didn’t show up for work. At least one CrimeStoppers tip after Goode’s disappearance suggested police look at Allen.

Lewis also noted that Allen left a threatening voice mail message on Goode’s phone, which police destroyed and didn’t disclose to the defense for more than a year.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m. on June 7, Flores said, he texted Goode to see if she got home safely and she replied that she had. It was the last he heard from her.

By the next day — while he was hanging out with Taylor — he said, her family was frantically looking for her. When detectives asked him to come to a precinct to answer questions, he said, he went willingly.

“At first they were choking me out, smacking me, spitting on me,” he said, adding that they screamed at him that he knew where she was.

During questioning by Lewis, Flores downplayed his friendship with Taylor. Lewis asked if they weren’t friends, why he had texted Taylor 353 times.

“I just text a lot,” Flores said.

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