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A man in Nashville, Tenn. is re-thinking the choice to follow in the footsteps of G-Dep and other criminals before him, by  confessing to a crime. The big difference is that James Washington spilled the beans on what he thought would be his death bed, but after surviving a heart attack he changed his perspective.

Already incarcerated on an unrelated offense, Washington was found guilty of murder last week, after he admitted to the 1995 slaying of Joyce Goodener.

The case had gone cold, and although Washington was considered a person of interest since he knew the victim and saw her on the day she died, investigators could not find DNA evidence to tie him to the crime.

Goodener was stabbed in the neck, beaten with a cinder block, and set on fire. Laying in his hospital bed, Washington admitted the gruesome details to prison guard, James Tomlinson. “He kind of got as best as he could, motioned, and said ‘I have something to tell you. I have to get something off my conscience and you need to hear this.’ He said, ‘I killed somebody. I beat her to death,’” Tomlinson recalled.

Once he realized that he was not going to die, Washington recanted the story, but he was too little too late, since prosecutors brought first-degree murder charges against him. Regardless of his reason for confessing, Goodener’s daughter—Sonya Kimbrell— is happy with the end result. “I didn’t have any trust in the system. All of a sudden, I got this phone call and they said, ‘We think we found him,’” she said.

Washington received  an automatic sentence of life in prison.


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