AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - Laura Stamey plans her days around the void left without her grandson. His mother’s boyfriend, Benjamin Goodson, is charged with the crime.
The state said Goodson called Eugene “Ryder” Stamey and his friend into a room before shooting at the child with a shotgun - twice.
“First he pulled the trigger without the hammer being pulled back, but he took time to think about it. Oh, and then he’s going to ask the kids ‘is there anything in it? Y’all wanna see?’ That was his statement to the kids," explained Stamey.
According to a police report, Ryder Stamey was struck the second time Goodson pulled the trigger.
Goodson stood in front of a judge Friday, charged with murder. He was granted bond - something Ryder’s family didn’t expect.
So, Stamey started an online petition, asking for support in her fight for justice.
Stamey said about the $130,000 bond, “It really shocked everybody. But what shocked me even more was the fact that the judge stated that this was a negligence crime, homicide.”
The judge granted Goodson bond saying that he sees this as negligent homicide - not first degree murder - calling the incident quote “terribly, aggravatedly negligent”. A murder charge is proven by looking at intent before the crime.
“When we talk about what often, some people refer to as negligent homicide, the law usually considers that to be some level of involuntary manslaughter and not murder," explained Jason Hasty, attorney at law.
Hasty said petitions typically don’t do much but there is something the family can do.
“If the district attorney has concerns and they wish to go back to court in any given case to seek change or modification or reconsideration of bond, they have the right to do that," Hasty said.
That’s exactly what Ryder’s Grandma plans to do Monday, just days before her first Thanksgiving without him.
“My grandson’s not here. He doesn’t have a voice. So, therefore, I’m his voice, my family is his voice and 240-something supporters are his voice.”
The Stamey family is trying to raise $2,500 for Ryder’s headstone. CLICK HERE to connect with his grandmother if you wish to donate.