A 30-year-old woman was sentenced to life in prison this week for her part in the kidnapping of a former Wake County prosecutor’s father orchestrated by a prison inmate.
Shamieka Goodall, also known as Donna Diva, was found guilty in January of kidnapping and a related conspiracy charge for the 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., in April 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 its 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 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 year 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 and sentencing 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 The Charlotte Observer reported on further in its recent investigative series “Wrong Side of Bars.”