Cherokee County man who tried to kill estranged wife sentenced to 65 years

A Ball Ground man has admitted that he tried to kill his estranged wife during a vicious 2018 attack inside her home.

Ronald Richard Goss, 57, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, home invasion, attempted arson, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and nine counts of family violence aggravated battery during a Jan. 26 court hearing.

Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr. sentenced him to 65 years in state prison, citing the fact that Goss’ ambush on his estranged wife Tina Davis was premeditated.

“He did everything in his power to kill Tina Davis,” said Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney Shannon Wallace, who led the prosecution. “It is only by the grace of God that she is still here with us. While his plan to kill Tina was unsuccessful, in less than five minutes, Mr. Goss ended Tina’s life as she once had known it.”

The attack happened Feb. 11, 2018, when Goss showed up to Davis’ home unannounced, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the District Attorney’s Office. The couple had been married nearly 10 years, but they were separated at the time and in the middle of a divorce.

Goss asked if they could salvage their marriage and Davis said she wanted to proceed with the divorce.

Goss returned to the home around 4 a.m. the following morning and was outside Davis’ window waiting for about an hour for her to wake up, authorities said. When he saw Davis’ lights come on, he cut the power to the house and broke in through the garage by firing gunshots at the door, the news release indicated.

Once Goss encountered Davis in the master bathroom, he told her that if he couldn’t have her, nobody could, prosecutors said. He opened fire with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson and shot her seven times, officials said. Davis was struck in the chest, forearm, thumb, shoulder, hip and head. She also sustained a spinal injury that left her without feeling from the waist down.

Investigators said she never lost consciousness during the ordeal.

According to the district attorney, one of the bullets Goss intended for his wife ricocheted and struck him in the face.

Following the shooting, Goss used his cellphone to take photos of himself and Davis to document their injuries at the scene. He then called 911. Authorities said he calmly told dispatchers he’d shot his wife and himself, then waited for help to arrive. Cherokee County paramedics took both Goss and Davis to the hospital.

Deputies found evidence that he doused Davis’ car with gasoline before breaking into her home and shooting her. Investigators said he planned to torch the car, which was parked in a garage attached to her house.

Prosecutors said Davis has undergone 15 “grueling surgeries and dental procedures” over the past four years to recover from the spinal cord injuries and other severe wounds she sustained the night of the shooting.

Davis was paralyzed after the shooting and doctors told her she may never be able to walk again, according to Tuesday’s news release. Officials said she’s able to walk with crutches currently.

Credit: Blue Ridge Judicial District Attorney

Credit: Blue Ridge Judicial District Attorney

In fact, Davis stood up in the courtroom as she delivered her victim impact statement during last week’s sentencing hearing. She told the judge about her life prior to the shooting, describing how she loved physical fitness. She also shared videos and photos of her ongoing journey to recovery, and discussed the shame of no longer being independent.

“What hurts most are the things he took from my future,” Davis said during her statement, according to a District Attorney spokesperson. “I would have been a go-to babysitter for my grandkids. I would have been the fun Nana. These should be the best years of my life. I should be checking off my bucket list. But thanks to him, I spend my days in therapy just to regain a portion of what he took.”

Prosecutors sought a life sentence plus 35 years for Goss, while his attorneys recommended 20 years in prison followed by life on probation.

Davis asked the judge to deliver a stiff sentence, and asked him not to be swayed by the fact that she survived the attack.

“I may not have died that day, but he took my life just as if I had. A weaker person physically, mentally, spiritually would not have survived,” she said. “There will be no parole for me. Please make him live with the consequences of his decisions for the rest of his life.”

Credit: Blue Ridge Judicial District Attorney

Credit: Blue Ridge Judicial District Attorney