PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A man accused of killing his girlfriend, J’Naysia Marie Hobbs, and then allegedly setting a fire to cover it up, has pled not guilty to the crime Monday morning.
Tahir Goodman Sr., 28, is facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated arson.
On Dec. 16, his arraignment was delayed due to questions surrounding Goodman’s ability to pay for his own lawyer. Monday, the judge appointed him a public defender, who entered a not guilty plea for Goodman.
Prosecutors alleged on Dec. 1, Goodman killed 24-year-old J’Naysia Marie Hobbs by strangulation. Goodman is also accused of setting her home on fire.
As previously reported, on Wednesday, Dec. 1, Peoria Police and Fire responded to a house fire at the apartment at approximately 5:09 a.m. While searching the house, fire crews located 24-year-old J’Naysia Marie Hobbs, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood later identified that she died from “strangulation by another, and was deceased before the fire.”
Police arrested Goodman for first-degree murder and aggravated arson on Dec. 2. Goodman has been previously arrested twice for domestic battery since 2017.
Goodman is expected to be back in court for a scheduling hearing on March 3. A tentative trial date has been set for March 14.