On August 6, 2017, friends of Maurice Goins informed police that he hadn’t been to work in several days and that they were becoming concerned for his welfare. When police visited his apartment in Lakewood, Ohio, they discovered him lying dead on his bedroom floor.
Officers had climbed in through a window to find 53-year-old Goins’s body covered in clothing and trash. It appeared as though his body had been dragged from the kitchen to the bedroom. His TV was missing.
Goins had been stabbed in his head, neck, and chest more than 20 times; he had defensive wounds indicating he’d put up a fight. Injuries to his larynx and left jugular vein probably caused his death. The knife was left by Goins’s head.
A neighbor later told investigators he’d seen a man with a cane going into Goin’s apartment and leaving a few minutes later with a TV.
The family of Goins were unable to understand why anyone would want to hurt the lovable character. Friends and family described an easy going man who everybody loved. He had moved to Ohio from his home in California 20 years previously but was planning a return to California to be closer to his family when he was murdered.
Police catch a break
The investigation went nowhere for about ten months until two informants told police that homeless man Charles Muscatello had admitted to the stabbing. Muscatello’s DNA was discovered on Goins’s body and on the murder weapon.
Muscatello eventually confessed to officers, but he claimed he was acting in self-defense; he said Goins, “came on to him.” Muscatello said he’d been to Goins’s apartment hundreds of times, and others described them as friends. Muscatello admitted to stealing the TV after the murder.
In February 2019, Muscatello pleaded guilty to murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to spend 20 years in prison.
Muscatello had a history of criminal behavior, having previously been charged with burglary, theft, obstruction of official business, and robbery.
More from The Murder Tapes
Follow the links to read about more cases from The Murder Tapes, including the case of young mother Bianca Rainer, who was murdered in Arkansas by a sex offender, Harold Bennett. Or read about the horrific case of 42-year-old Beverly Puccio who was found covered in blood on her own bed, murdered by Michael Piantieri, who she’d met earlier in the evening.
Follow the case of Maurice Goins on The Murder Tapes at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.