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Prosecution rests its case in trial of former East Gaston High School wrestling coach

GASTONIA The prosecution rested its case late Friday afternoon in the trial of a former high school wrestling coach charged with molesting team members.

Gary Scott Goins, 46, is accused of committing sex crimes against three former members of his wrestling team at East Gaston High School between 1998 and 2004.

Defense attorney Brent Ratchford told the Observer on Friday he hadn’t decided whether to put up evidence on Monday and, if so, whether Goins would take the witness stand.

A witness testifying Friday for the third day in the trial said under cross examination that he’d been high on cough medicine the night that he tried to kill the coach. He’s the third man to testify during Goins’ trial that he’d been molested by the wrestling coach.

The Observer’s policy is not to publish the names of sexual abuse victims.

In earlier testimony, the witness told the jury he’d been sexually abused by Goins in high school. He also testified that when Goins learned he was being investigated by police in 2013 the coach asked the witness to kill him.

The witness recalled that Goins suggested death by shooting, but later selected strangulation. In April 2013, the witness said he choked Goins unconscious and twisted a rope around his neck.

The witness said Goins had set the timer on his watch for eight minutes, the amount of time the witness was supposed to hold the rope. Above the noise from a storm, the witness said he thought he heard the timer go off, let go of the rope and ran away.

Goins later woke up and left the scene.

On Friday, under cross examination by defense attorney Ratchford, the witness acknowledged he’d been inebriated on cough medicine that night, but said he’d been under stress at the time.

“It was a crutch, like a bottle,” the witness said, adding that being high didn’t affect his recollection of details that night.

Under questioning by Gaston County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hamlin, the witness said Goins told him he wanted to die because he “didn’t want to face all this” and planned the killing

Goins was concerned about his family, wanted his wife to get an insurance policy after his death and be able to keep the house, the witness recalled.

The jury watched a video of a Gaston County Police detective interviewing the witness in March. The witness told the officer that he wanted to get something off his conscience and gave details about assaulting Goins.

The detective characterized the incident as “basically a suicide by homicide.”

Prosecution witness Richard Apolinar of Concord described wrestling on the East Gaston High School club team.

One night in a hotel room, Apolinar testified, Goins and the witness were in the same bed when the lights went out and from that direction Apolinar said he heard someone say “wait till they go to bed.”

DePriest: 704-868-7745
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