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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Stabbing Suspect From Villas Arrested in Mississippi

Stabbing Suspect From Villas Arrested in Mississippi

By Christopher South

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COURT HOUSE – Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland announced the arrest in Mississippi of a stabbing suspect from Villas.

Sutherland, along with Lower Township Police Chief Kevin Lewis, issued a press release on April 24 saying Imani S. Goodman, 26, a resident of the Villas section of Lower Township, was arrested in Mississippi on charges related to a stabbing in Villas on Wednesday, April 3. Police arrived on the scene and found the victim sitting in a car in front of her home, suffering from multiple stab wounds. When police approached three people in the backyard of the residence two of them fled. One of them, Gabrielle Labaco, who was in a relationship with Goodman, later returned and was charged with obstruction.

The victim was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center in critical but stable condition and was treated for 17 stab wounds.

A multi-jurisdictional stabbing investigation was initiated by the LTPD and the CMC Prosecutor’s Office. Goodman, who fled the scene on foot, was named as the primary suspect in the case and was subsequently charged with second-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

The prosecutor said an extensive investigation was initiated regarding the apprehension of Goodman. His office received information suggesting Goodman fled the Cape May County area to avoid apprehension. On April 23, 2024, Goodman was apprehended in Wayne County, Mississippi, by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Goodman’s extradition to New Jersey is pending, where he will face charges related to this stabbing incident, the prosecutor said.

Labaco was charged with fourth-degree obstruction for ignoring multiple warnings from police not to enter the house where the crime occurred. She was also charged with a disorderly persons offense for refusing to be fingerprinted. Labaco had been on probation in Georgia related to a fatal stabbing. She was present with six people when Dennis Bryant, 20, was stabbed to death in 2018.

Sutherland said second-degree crimes can carry a sentence of between five and 10 years. Third-degree crimes can carry a sentence of between three and five years, while fourth-degree crimes can carry a sentence of up to 18 months in New Jersey state prison.

Sutherland expressed his thanks for cooperation and the intensive investigative efforts of all the law enforcement agencies listed below who assisted with this investigation, including the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Lower Township Police Department, Middle Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit, U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Contact the reporter, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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