Catherine Goins to be represented by state capital defender's of - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Catherine Goins to be represented by state capital defender's office

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The woman accused of killing a mother for her newborn baby appeared before a judge, Wednesday.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Catherine Goins.  As in all death penalty cases, all proceedings in the Superior Court will have to be recorded and transcribed. Goins will also have to be present during all proceedings from here on out.

37-year-old Catherine Goins is accused of luring new mom Natalia Roberts with free baby clothes and shooting the mother of 3 in the back of the head in an attempt to take her new born baby as her own.

"We're dealing with this on a daily basis," said Benny Roberts, Natalia's uncle.

Benny Roberts and several family members stood strong inside a Catoosa County courtroom Wednesday. Family members said it was the first time they were face to face with Natalia's accused killer.

"You can only imagine what it would be like to put yourself in that position face this situation and someone face to face," said Benny Roberts. "It was a task."

Unlike her first appearance, a handcuffed Goins was unemotional. Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt asked her if she had any objection to him hearing her case, she said "no sir". When the judge asked if she understood the proceedings, Goins said, "yes sir". Once the District Attorney's office announced they are planning to seek the death penalty, the judge put the State's Capital Defender's office in charge of defending Goins.

"Of course we pray about each thing we hear about, we pray for help like in today," said Benny Roberts.

Robert's family says the 3-week-old and 3-year-old kidnapped from the crime scene are doing well.

"Her dad, my brother and Natalia's mother have joined forces to raise these children," said Roberts.

Family members say the children are in therapy and it's been stressful.

"They were not prepared for the baby and even to take on the responsibility... it's so expensive to put children through school," said Benny Roberts. "These children will have needs in the future.... we're doing all that we can. We just got to rely on the Lord for strength through this entire process."

Goins First Proceedings Unified Appeal has not yet been scheduled, Judge Van Pelt who will preside over the case, said he anticipates the next hearing to be sometime in April.

In the First Proceedings Unified Appeal, Defense Attorney's must be appointed. Officials said the court will also schedule an appropriate time for arraignment and plea on the merits of the indictment.

Friends have set up a fund for Natalia Roberts three surviving children. You can make a donation to the "Natalia Brianne Roberts Memorial Fund" at any Regions Bank.

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