New Hampshire piano teacher facing prison time commits suicide; mistrial declared

April 28th, 2015 by Staff

Authorities say Goodwin, 75, shot himself in the parking lot of the courthouse.

(WCVB.COM) BRENTWOOD, N.H. – A piano teacher who shot himself while awaiting a jury’s verdict in his trial on multiple counts of sexual assault on a student has died from his injuries.

Authorities said John Goodwin, 75, a longtime piano teacher in Atkinson, went on trial earlier this week on six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Prosecutors said he repeatedly sexually assaulted a student, who is now 24. He pleaded not guilty.

Goodwin was near his car in the parking lot of the Rockingham County Superior Courthouse when he shot himself in the chest at about 11 am. Friday.

“One of the guys came outside and saw the person on the ground and said he didn’t look like he was alive,” court worker Chris Neville said.

Court officials said the jury was deliberating when Goodwin shot himself, but were not aware of the incident.
Later in the day, the jury went home without a verdict, and a mistrial was declared.

The former student testified earlier this week. He said he didn’t come forward until 2013 because he was embarrassed.

Bob Chabot said he has known the Goodwin family for two decades and said he never heard rumors of abuse. He said he didn’t even know his neighbor was on trial until seeing it on the news this week.

“This is next door,” he said. “It’s right next door. Things like that don’t happen, at least around here.”

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