Tampa man charged with manslaughter in 2017 overdose death of Plant H.S. student

- It's been a year and a half since a Plant High School senior died of a drug overdose. Now, the person who was with 17-year-old Katie Golden on the night she died is behind bars, charged in her death.

Titan Goodson, 19, is charged with manslaughter. State Attorney Andrew Warren says Goodson "disregarded Katie Golden’s life by putting her in a situation where she needed medical assistance and then failed to get her help."

Though a year and half has passed since Cliff and Dawn Golden lost their daughter, time hasn't made it any easier.

"We don't go back to normal. We are changed forever," Cliff Golden said.

In April of 2017, Katie had just four weeks until graduation and an entire life ahead.

Her parents say she was always smiling and loved to play the piano. Though she'd had previous issues with marijuana, they say she was headed in a better direction. 

"As far as we know, Katie never did heroin before. That was her first time," Cliff Golden said.

Sadly, one time on April 14 was all it took.

"She was a young girl," Cliff said. "She got into a situation she didn't know about. She made a mistake. We've all made mistakes. But we didn't die from them. Unfortunately, this mistake, she died from."

Katie wasn't alone the night she overdosed. She was with then-17-year-old Titan Goodson at his Harbour Island home. Last week, a grand jury indicted the now-19-year-old on second-degree felony manslaughter. He was arrested Saturday.

According to the police report, Goodson waited hours until Golden stopped breathing before finally calling 911.

"Public safety demands that we protect members of our community at their most vulnerable moments," said State Attorney Andrew Warren. "The defendant disregarded Katie Golden’s life by putting her in a situation where she needed medical assistance and then, failing to get help. That is a crime. And, for that reason, we are going to hold him accountable for Katie, for her parents and for the entire community."

"EMS said that Narcan works in 30 seconds," said Dawn Golden. "It would've completely reversed the effect. And all she needed was 30 seconds."

Katie's parents say it's a story could've ended differently for not only for their daughter, but Goodson, too. Had 911 been called immediately, the Good Samaritan Law would've protected him.

"The law protects and encourages those in a situation of a drug overdose to call 911," Warren said. "The law does not protect people who place themselves above the value of another’s human life."

Katie's parents not only hope for a conviction, but a change in laws.

"She was a wonderful person," Cliff said. "She walked this earth for 17 years and maybe her purpose was to change the world. Unfortunately, she won't be here to see it."

Goodson remains in the Hillsborough County Jail. His next court appearance is Friday morning and Katie's parents plan to be there.

While it's illegal to sell kids drugs, Katie's mother continues her push to get "Katie's Law" passed. It would make it a crime to help kids get drugs, which could be an action as simple as driving them somewhere knowing they'll get access to illegal substances.

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