Tulsa police arrested a man who admitted robbing two Tulsa restaurants Wednesday morning who's also wanted for a murder in Dallas.
Police said Latwon Goff could've never committed these crimes, if a Tulsa County judge hadn't set him free in December.
This is not the first time Latwon Goff has been behind bars.
Police arrested him three years ago for five robberies and a list of other crimes. He pleaded guilty, got a 15-year sentence, but, then a judge wiped it all away and set Goff free in December.
Police said Goff went to Dallas, where just two months later he murdered a man and shot a woman during a robbery.
Dallas police warned Tulsa police that Goff could be headed back this way.
Officers said Goff admitted robbing a Tulsa donut store in front of a woman and her small children and a Subway Wednesday and also confessed to robbing a Walgreens three days before the judge let him go.
"Frustration is almost not the word for it," said TPD Robbery Sgt. Brandon Watkins.
Watkins said Goff did several robberies in 2014 and they were glad when he pleaded and got a 15-year sentence, then they were dismayed to hear Judge
Sharon Holmes dismissed all those cases and expunged Goff's record.
"I understand taking a chance on somebody, giving somebody a second chance, but, once you shove a gun in someone's face, your chances are worn out, as far as we're concerned," Watkins said.
This isn't the first time it's happened.
Tulsa police arrested Maurice Younger in 2014 for six robberies, some burglaries and stolen cars.
He pleaded guilty and initially got 15 years, but, Judge Holmes knocked it down to a five-year deferred. That was in May of 2016.
Just two months later, Tulsa police arrested Younger for several home invasion robberies and raping a woman.
After that, Judge Holmes did order Younger held without bond.
News On 6 called her courtroom to ask her about these cases, but haven't yet heard back.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler released a statement saying:
I am grateful for the hard work of the Tulsa Police Department in getting Mr. Goff off the streets. However, it is my opinion that he should never have returned to the streets in the first place. The violent trail of crime he began as a youthful offender in August, 2014 should have resulted in his placement in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. While Oklahoma’s Youthful Offender statutes were created in part, to consider the amenability of rehabilitation for certain youthful offenders, they were also created “to better ensure the public safety by holding youths accountable for the commission of serious crimes”.
Mr. Goff was released from supervision for his Tulsa area crimes based upon the recommendation of the Office of Juvenile Affairs. OJA’s report to the court stated that “although Latwon’s Youthful Offender crimes were serious indeed, he has taken full advantage of all treatment opportunities available, his mother has been supportive of him throughout the process, and he seems to be ready for case closure at this time.” First, the fact that he committed “crimes” as in plural, several, many, etc., should have been a prime indicator that he was an extreme risk of reoffending. Second, I am more than confident that any mother would be “supportive” of their child in just about any circumstance. Third, I have never met an offender who wants their case to remain open – offenders want it over and done with as soon as possible. What is more important to me is not how Mr. Goff Felt, but the effect Mr. Goff’s crimes had on each one of the victims, and whether the 1 year and 10 months he spent in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs could ever have meaningfully rehabilitated him. We are now seeing that the hopes of treatment providers have apparently fallen woefully short of their goal.
I have the benefit of being a prosecutor who endured the days when all that the State of Oklahoma had was a juvenile court system and an adult court system. Violent offenders in the age range of Mr. Goff had virtually no accountability in the juvenile system. Oklahoma’s Youthful Offender statutes were in response to the public outcry for more accountability. The safety and security of the public is at the forefront of my office’s efforts on a daily basis. We will continue to advocate in our courts that violent offenders need to be held fully responsible for the crimes they commit – even if they are “youthful offenders”. Our only hope is that the courts, the treatment providers, and the case managers listen to and heed our warnings when it comes to rendering judgment on a documented violent offender.
Mr. Goff is accused of new violent offenses in Tulsa County and in the State of Texas. He, like every charged individual enjoys the presumption of innocence until a judge or a jury determines otherwise.