A 30-year-old woman was found guilty this week of taking part in the bizarre kidnapping of a former Wake County prosecutor’s father that was orchestrated by a prison inmate.
Shamieka Goodall, also known as Donna Diva, was found guilty of kidnapping and a related conspiracy charge in an April 2014 multi-state, multi-person scheme to abduct Frank Janssen, the father of former Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen.
Frank Janssen was kidnapped from his home in Wake Forest after Goodall talked by phone with Kelvin Melton, the mastermind of the scheme.
Melton, a leader in the United Bloods Nation gang who was in a North Carolina prison after Colleen Janssen prosecuted his case, called Goodall’s home in Covington, Ga., on April 5, 2014, and discussed the mission with Goodall and others, according to prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh.
Not only did Goodall provide the kidnapping team assembled by Melton a place to receive their instructions through the conference call, she also provided money for the kidnappers to use during their trip.
Frank Janssen was taken from his home on April 5, 2014, and driven to an apartment in Atlanta by his abductors. He was tied to a chair and held in a closet while Janssen’s family and federal agents began a multi-state search for him, using wire taps to monitor texts and phone calls. Prosecutors contend Melton gave instructions from inside prison throughout the scheme, sending more than 120 texts and calling his underlings on speaker phone before and after the kidnapping.
A team of federal agents rescued Janssen on April 9, 2014. He was reunited with his family a day later but testified last year that he continued to suffer from emotional and physical injuries related to the abduction.
Melton was convicted last June of kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and a firearms charge related to conspiracy, crimes that brought a life sentence in federal prison.
The conviction of Goodall “is the final chapter in the prosecution of a heinous crime conducted by members of a violent gang,” John Strong, the special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, said in a statement.
The case has given a glimpse of how street gangs work, as well as how money can flow from members outside prison walls to incarcerated leaders. The trials of Melton and Goodall also highlighted the prevalence of contraband phones inside state prisons and put a focus on corrupt guards who help smuggle them to inmates.
“As I stated when Kelvin Melton was convicted, this crime was monstrously cruel to the victim and his family, including a dedicated public servant who was being targeted for her public service,” John Bruce, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said in a statement. “It was also an attack on our criminal justice system. We must do more to stop convicted prisoners from reaching out from their prison cells to harm witnesses and law enforcement officials, and to continue their criminal enterprises. The convictions in these cases are a start.”
Goodall faces the possibility of a lifetime prison sentence.