Goff To Spend The Prime Of His Life Behind Bars

The courtroom was packed with friends and family of the victim. Kyle Todd's mother, Karla Todd gave an emotional speech in court.

"I ask God to help me breathe, to help me eat because I am constantly paralyzed by pain. The only thing worse than losing someone is to be responsible for that loss. You, Joseph Goff, are responsible," Todd said.

Kyle Todd's family and friends say they will never get over his death, but knowing his killer will pay does give them a sense of closure.

"We are all just very relieved that Joey Goff is off of the street and that our family can move on... It will never be over for us because Kyle is gone," the victim's cousin, Eve Clemens said.

"I'm happy that I don't have to worry about seeing Joey Goff. I don't have to worry about bumping into him when I'm home from school. Don't have to worry about any of my friends bumping into him. That puts me at ease, but it doesn't bring Kyle back," the victim's friend, Roy "Cooper" Kimbrell Jr. said.

Goff could have been sentenced to life in prison if he had been tried and convicted of murder. But Todd's loved ones say the decision to make a plea bargain for a lesser charge of manslaughter was best.

"For the family and everybody involved, it was much less stressful than a trial would have been. No amount of time was enough, no punishment was enough to satisfy us. We're just very relieved that it's over with and we can try to move on and just try to remember the wonderful memories that we have of him," Clemens said.

Todd was a Freshman at LSU, and was valedictorian of Gautier High School's Class of 2001. Goff was a year behind him in school, a senior at Gautier High at the time of the murder.

Before receiving his sentence, Goff told the judge, "I do want to apologize for everybody I hurt, because a lot of people's lives have been torn apart by what happened. I know that whatever you or the Lord gives me is well deserved."

"By your conduct, you have made a hell on earth for everyone who knows you. If that was your goal, you have exceeded your wildest dreams," Judge Dale Harkey told Goff. "I sentence you to 20 years and only regret it couldn't be longer."

Harkey also ordered that Goff have an 8x10 photo of the victim, Kyle Todd, in his jail cell to remind him of what he did.

By: Myya Robinson