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Mount Airy man sentenced to more than 20 years in fatal Winston-Salem shooting.
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Mount Airy man sentenced to more than 20 years in fatal Winston-Salem shooting.

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A Forsyth County judge kept wondering how Charlie Andrew Goldsmith ended up standing before him Monday afternoon.

“It’s hard to see how we got here,” Judge Allen Baddour of Forsyth Superior Court told Goldsmith.

Minutes before, Goldsmith, 23, of Red Barn Lane in Mount Airy, had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2018 death of Jordan Anthony Gabriel, who was 21. A Forsyth County prosecutor alleged Goldsmith shot Gabriel in the parking lot outside a Food Lion off Stratford Road after the two men had an argument over a drug deal.

“No amount of marijuana is worth a life,” Baddour said.

Goldsmith had been facing a first-degree murder charge, but as part of a plea arrangement, he was allowed to enter a guilty plea to second-degree murder. Assistant District Attorney Penn Broyhill and Goldsmith’s attorney, Paul James, reached an agreement on the sentence.

Baddour sentenced Goldsmith to a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 22 years, 8 months, in prison.

Broyhill said that the shooting happened on July 27, 2018. Winston-Salem police officers responded to the parking lot at 8:30 p.m. that day.

Goldsmith and Gabriel had communicated earlier that day and had arranged to meet in the Food Lion parking lot at 2530 Somerset Center Drive. Gabriel drove his Honda Accord, and Goldsmith arrived in a separate car driven by someone else.

Broyhill said Goldsmith and another man, Keelan Goodwin, got into Gabriel’s car. Gabriel indicated that he did not have the marijuana, and Goldsmith said he wouldn’t pay until he saw the drugs. The two men started arguing.

Broyhill said Goldsmith is shown on surveillance camera footage getting out of Gabriel’s car and going to the car he arrived in. It’s not clear whether he already had a firearm or went to the car to get one.

Either way, Goldsmith went to the front passenger side of Gabriel’s car. Goodwin, who was in the back seat, later told police that he saw Gabriel lean back and put his hands up. Gabriel also appeared to be trying to drive away.

James said Goldsmith told police that he was standing by Gabriel’s passenger side door, which was open. When Gabriel accelerated, the car door closed on his hand, which held the gun. The gun then accidentally went off.

Gabriel was shot in the chest but was able to drive to the Sheetz gas station in the parking lot. People at the gas station were able to flag down a police officer. That officer and another officer tried to save Gabriel’s life. Gabriel was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

Goldsmith left the scene but was arrested on July 31, 2018, at a motel in Stokes County, Broyhill said. The gun that killed Gabriel was found in the motel and Goldsmith gave a full statement to police admitting his role in the shooting, Broyhill said.

Marcus Anthony Gabriel, Jordan Gabriel’s father, read a statement to the court. He wore a black shirt emblazoned with his son’s image on the front. On the back were these words: “Your wings were ready but my heart was not.”

Marcus Gabriel described his son as an “all-around good man” who loved his family, particularly his brother and two sisters. One of the last things his son told him before his death was for Marcus Gabriel to take care of his siblings.

He said Goldsmith didn’t just take his son’s life.

“You took part of my soul. I have to live with this the rest of my life until I see him again (in heaven),” he said.

336-727-7326

@mhewlettWSJ

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