Editor’s Note: The statements made in this article are directly from court records obtained by News 19. These statements could be disturbing to some readers.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A 26-year-old British man pleaded guilty on September 12 to the 2018 murder of a DeKalb County man whose body was found buried in a barrel in the woods, according to court documents.
In July 2018, Marcus Gordon Ricketts of Midland, England was charged with the murder of 59-year-old William “Scotty” Goldin after authorities say he confessed to the crime and led them to a body buried in the woods behind a home on Road 9095 in Valley Head.
Goldin had been reported as missing since May of that year.
Former DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris at the time said his department had received information that the victim “had been possibly stabbed or struck with a blunt object, stuffed in a 55-gallon drum that was sealed at both ends and poured with loose concrete. It only took a short amount of time to locate the barrel.”
According to reports, Ricketts had moved to Alabama to be with his fiancee, Goldin’s youngest daughter, in 2017 after the two met on Xbox Live.
Editor’s Note: The omitted details in this image contained personal information and the fiancee’s name, which News 19 decided to leave out of reporting.
Court records state that Ricketts had become scared of Goldin, claiming he was chronically abusive, allegedly threatening him with a machete, saying he and Goldin didn’t always “see eye to eye,” adding that Goldin had “told me several times that he would kill me.”
Ricketts went on to detail more threats allegedly spewed by Goldin, threats of killing him and “mail me back to my Moma in a box,” and “shoot me in the head and leave me in a ditch.”
22 years old at the time, Ricketts wrote that despite wanting to run away, felt that he couldn’t leave his fiancee behind. “She my everything, my rock, my sole mate.”
In the documents, Ricketts claims that the killing was in response to Goldin accusing him of taking synthetic marijuana that he had bought. Ricketts explained he started bringing a knife with him when he went to bed.
Ricketts claimed in his confession that Goldin hit him in the mouth with a baseball bat while he was sleeping. He says he “went in a rage” when Goldin allegedly swung at him again.
According to court documents obtained by News 19, Ricketts described the killing in a written confession. Those details are below.
Warning: These statements may be graphic to some readers.
Disclaimer: News 19 omitted Rickett’s fiancee’s name, as she has not been charged in connection to Goldin’s murder.
“I grabbed my knife next to me, stab[bed] him,” Ricketts explained. “When the knife was in him, I push him out of the bedroom, pull the knife out, stab him in the back and on the side. I remember hearing a pop.”
Ricketts wrote that he only recalled certain aspects of the incident due to “the rage.”
“I came back to myself and I was sitting in the living room with blood on my hands. I then looked down the hallway and saw his body and freaked out a bit.”
Ricketts explained in his confession that he tried to hide the incident from his fiancee at the time, saying he didn’t want to hurt her, adding that he was in the country illegally.
However, a separate document provided a different story.
“I drug Scotty to the back bedroom and started cleaning the hallway,” wrote Ricketts. “When [fiancee] got home, I sat her down on the couch and told her what happened. [Fiancee] told me that her dad said if she ever killed someone to put the body in a drum and fill it with concrete.”
According to the Ricketts, his fiancee, Goldin’s youngest daughter, directed him to “go get the drum out of the yard.”
Ricketts, 22 at the time, says he grabbed a 55-gallon plastic drum from the garden behind the house, adding that he and his fiancee lifted Goldin’s body inside. Six bags of concrete were then purchased from a local hardware store.
“We went back to the trailer and [fiancee] started filling the barrel while [Ricketts] dumped the concrete mix in,” described Ricketts. “Once we filled the barrel, we moved it outside and off the back porch. We left it there for about a week and a half before we buried it.”
Ricketts explained that six more bags of concrete were purchased the day after Goldin’s death since the initial purchase was made on a debit card. The second set of the concrete mix was bought with cash in case authorities started to investigate.
Two months later, authorities would discover the barrel after receiving a tip.
“The day after we put Scotty in the barrel I realized we had used [fiancee’s] card for the purchase, so we went back and bought six more bags with cash to have there in case the police came. We wrote a note and [fiancee] forged Scotty’s signature to it, saying that he had to leave and if anyone found the note it meant the police were involved and leave his daughter out of it. [Fiancee] also threatened to have me killed if I were to jail and mentioned her name. [Fiancee] told me several times that she had thought of killing Scotty or burning the house down with him in it. She was the one who told people she had spoke to Scotty and she was using money out of Scotty’s bank account to pay bills and buy things.”Signed Marcus Ricketts
On July 4, 2018, just two months after Goldin’s death, Ricketts alerted jail staff that he was “seeing Scotty everywhere” and asked to see the nurse. An officer told Ricketts he would get the nurse, and that’s when Ricketts came to the window of his cell, holding out a stack of papers.
That officer says the papers appeared to be Ricketts’ written confession.
According to the autopsy report, Goldin suffered seven stab wounds to the chest, a slash wound to the neck, a cut on each hand and fractures of the fifth through 10th left ribs. The cause of death was listed as “multiple sharp force injuries.”
Court documents show that Ricketts originally pleaded not guilty in October 2019 after being indicted on the murder charge earlier that year.
After the guilty plea, Ricketts was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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