COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for the murder of former Chicago Bull Eddy Curry's 10-month-old daughter, Ava, and her mother, Nova Henry in 2009.
During a Thursday sentencing hearing, Yolan Henry recalled discovering her daughter and granddaughter dead in a pool of blood and the devastation their killer wrought on the people who love them.
"My faith has sustained my family and myself despite the unspeakable evil," she said, her piercing eyes fixed on convicted killer Fredrick Goings. "I forgive you; I forgive your family. Peace."
Goings killed mother and child but left Curry and Nova Henry's other child, Noah, unharmed. The boy later told his grandmother that Goings was the killer, Henry testified.
At Goings' trial, prosecutors argued that the Chicago lawyer had "dollar signs in his eyes" in 2006 when he met Henry, who wanted to take the millionaire Curry, a Harvey native with whom she had two children, to court in a paternity case.
Goings agreed to take the case, and the two also got involved in what would be a volatile "on-again, off-again" romantic relationship, prosecutors said. But on Goings' birthday, Jan. 24, 2009, he went to Henry's townhome and allegedly discovered she had a new lawyer — who was trying to contest a $24,000 legal bill from Goings.
Goings shot Henry and Ava multiple times and left them to die in a "pool of their own blood" before driving his black SUV to Michigan City, Ind., prosecutors said. Police followed him, they said, and watched from a distance as he walked into the woods and then the hotel pool "without his bathing suit" to wash himself before police arrested him and charged him with the murders.
Though he was sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said they were disappointed they couldn't seek the death penalty, which was abolished in the State of Illinois.
"Unfortunately, that's the ceiling," said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jim McKay, who prosecuted the Goings case. "At the time this defendant was charged, it was a death penalty case."