By Tom Blakey

Transcript Staff Writer

A Lamar woman charged with killing a pregnant woman and cutting the fetus from her womb in December 2003, was handed two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole Friday in Cleveland County District Court.

Effie Goodson, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Carolyn Simpson, 21, and her six-month-old fetus.

Goodson, after being sentenced by District Judge Bill Hetherington, apologized in open court saying: “I wish I could change that night, but I can’t. I’m very, very sorry.”

According to reports, Goodson had told several people she was pregnant, going back as far as 10 months. Her husband believed she was expecting, and friends even threw a baby shower for her, police said.

Investigators allege Goodson kidnapped Carolyn Simpson, 21, who was six months pregnant. Simpson was last seen Dec. 22, 2003. leaving a tribal casino in Okemah where she worked and Goodson was a patron.

Police said Goodson shot Simpson in the head, cut out the fetus and tried to pass it off as her own. Goodson brought the dead fetus to the Holdenville hospital the next day and claimed to be its mother, but a routine examination showed she could not have given birth, and she was taken into custody,

Meanwhile, on Dec. 26, a hunter found Simpson’s body in a field near Lamar, about 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

Charged and jailed in Hughes County, Goodson had filed a motion for a change of venue, and a hearing had been scheduled Friday in Cleveland County, for Judge Hetherington to consider the matter.

In the day’s before the scheduled hearing, prosecutors and defense attorneys came to an agreement whereby Goodson would drop her plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and plead guilty to the murder charges, and prosecutors would dismiss the bill of particulars and not seek the death penalty.

“It’s a very sad and tragic situation overall,” said Hughes County District Attorney Bill Peterson. “There are no winners in this case.”

Peterson said he discussed the plea agreement with Alan Simpson, the husband of Carolyn Simpson and father of the murdered child.

“He was hesitant at first, but we told him to go home and think about it,” Peterson said.

Simpson contacted the district attorney’s office a week later and said the agreement had “settled with his conscience,” Peterson said. “He decided that a life without parole sentence would be fair.”

Peterson also discussed the agreement with Carolyn Simpson’s aunt, who in turn discussed it with other family members, Peterson said.

“They also decided it was a fair sentence,” he said.

Peterson said winning a death penalty verdict would have been difficult, due to the age of the fetus.

For a death penalty verdict, prosecutors would have to prove the fetus was viable — or capable of surviving outside the womb, he said.

“The baby was 25 weeks. The defense had experts ready to testify it could not have survived, and we had experts ready to testify it could have survived,” he said.

Hetherington quizzed Goodson concerning her plea agreement, and the circumstances of the murders. Goodson said she shot Simpson in the back of the head with a .22 pistol.

“Why?” Hetherington asked.

“To get her baby,” Goodson replied.

Goodson waived a mandatory 10-day waiting period, and was to be taken back to Hughes County and transported to the Department of Corrections at first opportunity, according to court officials.

Tom Blakey366-3540tblakey@normantranscript.com

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