94 Years to Life for First Degree Murder
District Attorney Jan Scully announced that the Honorable Patrick Marlette sentenced Elijah Goethe to 94 years to life in prison.
On June 13, 2013, a jury convicted Goethe of first degree murder, attempted murder, shooting into an occupied motor vehicle, and gang and gun allegations relating to the shooting death of Joseph Washington.
On October 12, 2008, Joseph Washington was shot and killed in the Golf Course Terrace neighborhood southeast of the Sacramento Executive Airport. His friend, D'Andre Lawrence, was shot in the face but survived his injuries.
The murder was motivated by another shooting that took place a few hours earlier at 65th Street and 4th Avenue, in which two members of Goethe's gang were seriously injured. Evidence presented at trial suggested that Goethe and his co-conspirators erroneously believed the perpetrators of the first shooting were members of a south Sacramento gang. In retaliation, Goethe and his unidentified accomplice mistakenly targeted the victims' car.
The victims had no involvement in any of the previous shootings, no criminal history, and no gang ties.