PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria man on Thursday was sentenced to 59 years in prison for strangling his girlfriend and then setting her house on fire.
In September, a Peoria County jury took about 90 minutes to find Tahir Goodman, 30, guilty of aggravated arson and first-degree murder in connection with Dec. 1, 2021, death of J’Naysia M. Hobbs, who was found in her charred bedroom.
Specifically, he was sentenced to 53 years in prison on the murder charge and six years on arson count. He must serve 100% of the murder charge and at least 85% of this arson charge, meaning that with credit for nearly two years already served, he still has close to 55 years left on his sentence.
A 911 call regarding a house fire at 1021 E. Virginia Ave., brought firefighters to the East Bluff home which was fully engulfed by the time they arrived. A firefighter testified Tuesday that he had to crawl due to extreme heat and smoke in the first few minutes to do a search for victims. It was only after the fire was in the process of being extinguished that they found Hobbs on what was left of her bed.
An autopsy indicated she had been strangled to death prior to the fire being set, according to court records. A pathologist had to use dental records to identify her as she had been burned beyond recognition.
Prosecutors noted Goodman admitted he was with Hobbs until about 5 a.m. that morning, which was minutes before the fire was reported at her home. Testimony indicated the two had been arguing before, and Goodman felt “disrespected.” He then strangled her and set fire to the house.