Man convicted of carjackings, including case connected to puppy thrown from window, gets 18 year federal prison term

A man convicted of two carjackings, including one following a police pursuit in Little Canada when a suspect threw a puppy from a moving vehicle, received a federal sentence of nearly 18 years this week.

Donovan Alan Goodman, 34, “brazenly carjacked strangers and risked countless lives during his erratic efforts to flee police all while illegally possessing and threatening others with a firearm,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Minnesota wrote in a court document.

Donovan Alan Goodman. (Courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

On Jan. 30, Goodman was speeding in a stolen vehicle near Rice Street and U.S. 694 in Little Canada when a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy tried to pull him over. He drove in the wrong lanes of traffic, went around stop sticks and someone in the vehicle threw a puppy onto the freeway “to further forestall law enforcement,” a prosecutor wrote in the document.

After Goodman lost control of the vehicle, he and another man ran away. Goodman jumped the barrier dividing I-694, pulled a gun and pointed it at the driver of another vehicle and yelled at him to get out of the car. The driver did and Goodman drove away.

On Feb. 25, Minneapolis police found a vehicle that had been reported stolen and saw Goodman and another man standing near it. They ran away.

An officer used a Taser on Goodman, who fell to the ground. Goodman pointed a handgun with a laser sight at the officer, who took cover, the prosecutor’s summary said. Goodman ran.

Soon after, Goodman came upon two people who appeared to entering an Uber. He offered them $100 to let them join and they agreed. Once incide, Goodman pulled his gun, pointed it at the back of the driver’s head and ordered everyone to get out, which they did. He sped away.

Law enforcement tracked Goodman to a residence in St. Paul, where he and others inside wouldn’t exit for more than an hour. When he surrendered, law enforcement found three firearms submerged in a mop bucket, including the gun with laser sight.

Goodman pleaded guilty in June to two counts of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

“Since reaching adulthood, Mr. Goodman has been sentenced to more than a decade of incarceration for a variety of offenses involving the use of firearms, invasion of homes, and theft of vehicles,” the prosecutor wrote in seeking a sentence of 20 years.

Senior U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery sentenced Goodman on Tuesday to 17 years and 10 months. She recommended he be incarcerated at an institution “to treat his substantial mental health issues,” according to the sentencing order.

A 27-year-old woman is charged with animal cruelty and animal torture, among other offenses, in the Jan. 30 case. She told law enforcement she hadn’t thrown the puppy out of the truck and she didn’t remember what happened. Her court case in Ramsey County is ongoing.

The dog, which was named “Taho,” underwent surgery for a broken leg. Despite efforts to provide him with “a safe haven,” he couldn’t overcome the “severe trauma and abuse” he endured, a pet rescue organization wrote in April about the decision to euthanize him.

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