Trial of Accused Bank Robber Continues in Bangor
Tuesday was day two in the trial of a Fairfield man accused of robbing a credit union in Skowhegan three years ago.33-year old Forrest Goodwin Jr. is one of two men accused of stealing more than $9,000 from the Taconnet Federal Credit Union. He’s pleaded not guilty to armed robbery and aiding and abetting.In April, Paul Garland of Oakland pleaded guilty to armed robbery. Federal prosecutors said he went into the bank armed with a knife.During Tuesday’s proceedings, jurors watched a police interview with Goodwin, recorded after his arrest in November 2011.In it, Goodwin admits to waiting outside the bank for Garland on a motorcycle, but said he didn’t realize Garland was robbing it.He told police he thought he was just giving Garland a ride, and only realized what happened after they sped off and Garland showed him a bag full of cash.Following the video, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. asked jurors to exit the courtroom in order to address an issue.Goodwin’s attorney, Stephen Smith, had asked that Garland testify on behalf of the defense, which concerned Woodcock because as a co defendant in the case, Garland could incriminate himself.Smith argued that because Garland had already pleaded guilty to the robbery he would not be incriminating himself further. However, Woodcock countered that Garland had never said he robbed the bank, but in his plea instead conceded that the prosecution could prove their accusations at trial.Smith wanted the government to at least acknowledge that Garland was found guilty, but prosecutor, James McCarthy, said he would stipulate that Garland robbed the bank, but would not say he was guilty of the crime. Woodcock determined that it was impermissible to let jurors infer that simply because Garland has pleaded guilty, Goodwin cannot be found guilty.The prosecution rested their case Tuesday afternoon. The defense could begin theirs by calling Goodwin to the stand Wednesday morning.