Man out on bail for attempted murder of ex- returns to Hammond, kills her: prosecutors

Sylvia Williams was found dead on the floor of her mobile home, shot five times Wednesday shooting — and twice before from previous murder attempt.

SHARE Man out on bail for attempted murder of ex- returns to Hammond, kills her: prosecutors
Police responded on Jan. 30, 2020, for a person shot at 3600 Sheffield Ave. in a mobile home park in Hammond, Indiana.

Police responded on Jan. 30, 2020, for a person shot at 3600 Sheffield Ave. in a mobile home park in Hammond, Indiana.

Hammond police

A man released on bail after being charged with the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend returned to the crime scene three months later and fatally shot her Wednesday, prosecutors in northwest Indiana say.

Charles Goforth, 56, was arrested Thursday in Missouri and charged with killing 55-year-old Sylvia Williams, according to Hammond police.

“A very frustrating case,” Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said on Facebook. “Hammond police caught and arrested the same man in November ... then, a few weeks later, he returned to the same house and killed” Williams.

“The system failed the victim in this case,” McDermott wrote. “The violent felon should have never been set free on bond in the first place.”

Goforth had “constantly” been calling her to “smooth things over” because he did not want to go to jail for the previous murder attempt, according to a Lake County, Indiana, prosecutors’ court filing.

Charles Goforth arrest photo.

Charles Goforth arrest photo.

Hammond police

A relative found Williams dead on the floor of her home Wednesday morning in the Sheffield Estates mobile home park. She had seven bullets in her body: five from the Wednesday shooting and two from the previous murder attempt, prosecutors said in a court document.

Goforth was out on $7,945 bail after being charged with attempted murder in the shooting last year that left Williams wounded, Hammond police said.

He shot her Nov. 1 in the same mobile home where she was later killed, police said. That shooting was captured on two security cameras inside the home, according to the court document.

While out on bail, a judge allowed him to return home in Independence, Missouri, according to court records.

Detectives said cellphone records tracked Goforth traveling from Missouri to the Hammond mobile home where Williams was killed. According to court records, his vehicle was recorded driving in Hammond by the city’s license-plate readers.

Goforth was ordered held without bail at the Lake County Jail, according to court records.

Lake County prosecutors did not reply to a request for comment on whether authorities knew Goforth was harassing Williams while free on bail.

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