In a chilling case that shocked the community, Goey Charles, a 33-year-old Long Island resident, was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for the heartless killing of his pregnant girlfriend, 29-year-old Vanessa Pierre. The verdict was delivered in November, with Charles found guilty of second-degree murder for the October 2020 slaying.
Queens District Attorney Melina Katz emphasized the "brutality of the crime" and Charles' "remorseless discarding of the lifeless body of his girlfriend, the woman who was soon to be the mother of his child." Prosecutors had urged for the maximum sentence, underscoring the gravity of the offense.
The trial relied heavily on disturbing surveillance footage capturing the horrific incident on Horace Harding Expressway in Bayside. The video, initially shared online in 2020 by then-NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison, revealed Charles dragging Pierre's lifeless body from a car and abandoning her on the sidewalk.
The footage began with Pierre moving in the backseat of her white 2019 Dodge Challenger, but an hour later, Charles is seen exiting the vehicle, dragging her lifeless body behind him. After leaving her on the sidewalk, Charles gets back into the driver's seat before the video abruptly ends.
An MTA bus driver later discovered Pierre's body, wearing an orange shirt and red pajamas with a sock on one foot, and a pair of gray sweatpants wrapped around her neck. The autopsy confirmed her cause of death as asphyxia due to compression of the neck.
Pierre, a nurse practitioner from Hempstead, Long Island, was six months pregnant with Charles' child, a girl named Libby Egypt. Melissa Pierre, Vanessa's sister, revealed in 2020 that despite her sister's excitement about the baby, she had concerns about Charles. "I kept telling her this man is not it. Something was just off about him. He was a pathological liar. They moved really fast, been together about a year, less than that. From what it looked like, it looked like he wasn't really working," Melissa said.
Pierre never engaged in altercations and was described as someone who never raised her voice. Charles, residing in Uniondale, was arrested three days after Pierre's body was found and charged with second-degree murder.