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story.lead_photo.caption Bill Goodman

A 59-year-old Pine Bluff man accused of fatally shooting a former professional baseball player in downtown Little Rock last year pleaded not guilty this week and asked a judge to lower his bail.

William Goodman has been jailed since his Christmas Eve arrest in the killing that day of 52-year-old John Barfield, who pitched three seasons for the Texas Rangers. Goodman faces a charge of first-degree murder

According to an arrest report, Goodman, an acquaintance of Barfield, went to Barfield's residence on Sherman Street. The two men got into a fight, and Goodman fired a handgun at Barfield, according to the report.

[INTERACTIVE: Map details all Little Rock killings in 2016]

In a court appearance Monday before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson, Goodman entered a not guilty plea, online records show. Johnson also scheduled a June 21 trial.

Goodman's attorney on Wednesday filed a motion seeking a reduction in his $250,000 bail. The filing notes a number of factors, including that Goodman is in "poor physical health" and that he and "his attorney feel that he is likely to be acquitted in this case."

No response from the prosecution had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon, and Johnson had not ruled on the matter.


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Reporter Ryan Tarinelli contributed to this story.

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  • Queen1976
    March 1, 2017 at 2:32 p.m.

    Hope this thug gets life in prison - or better yet - do the same to him as what he did to his victim.

  • Olphart
    March 1, 2017 at 3:24 p.m.

    Is it worse to kill an ex-MLB player than it is to kill somebody who has never played sports? Why do newspapers always emphasize it when the victim was an athlete or an ex-athlete? One of the worst tragedies that can happen in Arkansas is when the QB of a HS football team perishes for one reason or another. A needless death is a needless death no matter who it was, no matter where it occurs.

    Having said that, it's not much of an argument to say that your bail should be reduced because both you and your attorney feel that you're likely to be acquitted. Duh...

  • titleist10
    March 1, 2017 at 4:39 p.m.

    Don't do the crime if you can't do the time tuff s---

  • MaxCady
    March 1, 2017 at 9:35 p.m.

    Never heard of him.