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Utah Man to Face Trial in 1986 Glendale Slaying

February 19, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

A Utah private investigator has been ordered to stand trial for what police described as the contract killing of a Glendale businessman last year.

The trial of Robert N. Goode, 27, accused of the fatal shooting of telephone-equipment store owner Frank Fitzpatrick, is scheduled to begin Feb. 27 in Pasadena Superior Court.

Testimony during a preliminary hearing that ended last week alleged that Goode received money from the slain man's business partner, identified as Connley Davidson. Goode had worked for Davidson as an investigator on separate matters. However, Davidson has not been charged with any involvement with the murder, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Barbara Murphy.

A ballistics expert testified during the hearing that the bullets that killed Fitzpatrick were fired from a gun that was later found at Goode's home in Orem, Utah. Goode was arrested June 24.

Glendale Municipal Judge J. D. Smith ruled that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Goode on charges of first-degree murder for financial gain and the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could lead to the death penalty if he is convicted.

Murphy said three witnesses testified that Goode had admitted the killing and that Davidson was seen handing Goode an envelope assumed to contain money. But Goode's lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Steven E. Kaplan, discounted the testimony as untrustworthy conjecture by "coke users" acting for "their own purposes and motives."

Fitzpatrick, 47, was shot five times on Jan. 13, 1986, as he walked to his car in a parking lot behind his business, Glendale Phone Mart, at 215 N. Central Ave. Murphy said that Fitzpatrick, who sold telephones and telephone equipment, was a partner of Davidson, who installed telephones.

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