Maryland man sentenced to 49-1/2 years for murdering ex-girlfriend

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Prince George's County man was sentenced on Friday in D.C. Superior Court to 49-1/2 years in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend in her Southeast D.C. home in 2016.

Donald Hairston, 51, of District Heights, Md. was found guilty by a jury in May 2018 of first-degree murder while armed and several other charges related to the murder of Stephanie Goodloe, 39, on June 18, 2016.

Prosecutors said about two weeks before the murder, Goodloe, who was a victim of domestic violence, got a temporary protective order against Hairston. They added that in the weeks leading up to the murder, Hairston "stole her house keys from her front door, threatened to kill her, and generally stalked and harassed her."

Then, at approximately 1 a.m. on June 18, 2016, prosecutors said that Hairston entered Goodloe's home in the 700 block of Kentucky Avenue, SE. and shot Goodloe five times as she lay in her bed. Prosecutors added that at the time, Goodloe's 11-year-old daughter was asleep in a nearby bedroom and woke to the sound of her mother screaming and the sound of gunshots.

Prosecutors said the girl saw Hairston walk past her bedroom door after the shooting. They added she was afraid that Hairston would come for her next and waited a few minutes before going to check on her mother and called 911.

Prosecutors asked Judge Danya A. Dayson to impose the maximum sentence of 61-1/2 years while Hairston's attorneys argued for the minimum sentence of 30-years.

Judge Dayson said she did not feel the minimum sentence was appropriate because of the nature of the crime. She added that while Hairston does have a criminal record, none of his previous crimes were violent in nature and as such, did not feel the maximum sentence was appropriate either.

"Knowing that it's unlikely that Donald will ever walk the streets again is a relief to us," said John Paul Goodloe, Goodloe's cousin. "And most importantly knowing that Stephanie's daughter is safe and will never have to worry about seeing his face again is so important to us.

When given a chance to speak, Hairston told the judge, "Your honor, I didn't do this."

Hairston's attorneys added that their client maintains his innocence and they felt the jury made the wrong decision. They said they presented cellphone records and surveillance video during that trial that showed Hairston could not have been responsible.