On Thursday, November 30, 2023, the Review Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) recommended that attorney Fredrick D. Goings be disbarred from the practice of law. This recommendation follows Goings’ convictions for the brutal murders of Nova Henry and her 10-month-old daughter Ava.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Fredrick D. Goings,” with case no. 2013PR00035.

The charges cited Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(a)(3) which states:

A lawyer shall not commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respect.

Goings was convicted by a jury in 2013 for the shooting deaths of Henry and her infant daughter. According to evidence and testimony presented at Goings’ criminal trial, he had a personal relationship with Henry from 2006 to 2007 while representing her in a paternity suit. In 2009, Goings fatally shot both Henry and her daughter in a domestic violence incident.

Goings received a mandatory life sentence for the two first-degree murder convictions. He appealed his convictions unsuccessfully, with the Illinois Appellate Court affirming the jury’s verdict in 2015. The Illinois Supreme Court denied further appeal in 2016.

While his appeals were ongoing, the ARDC filed a formal complaint against Goings in 2013 based on the murder convictions. However, the disciplinary proceedings were stayed until Goings exhausted his appeals as required under Illinois Supreme Court rules. In May 2021, with the appellate review completed, the ARDC lifted its stay and the disciplinary hearing was finally held this past February. At the hearing, the prosecution relied on certified records of Goings’ convictions to prove misconduct.

On November 30, 2023, in a formal written decision, the ARDC Review Board unanimously accepted the hearing board’s finding that Goings’ criminal conduct violated Illinois rules of professional conduct. The board also refused Goings’ arguments attempting to relitigate his guilt and implicate the ARDC in his prosecution.

As a result of these determinations, the Review Board has recommended the ultimate sanction of disbarment for Goings. His actions will now be reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court, which will make a final ruling on stripping Goings of his law license.

The recommendation states:

“We have carefully considered all of the arguments Respondent made on appeal, and we find that his arguments have no merit. For the foregoing reasons, we find that the decision to lift the stay was reasonable and the Chairman of the Hearing Board did not abuse his discretion by lifting the stay in 2021. We find that Respondent violated Rule 8.4(a)(3) by killing a young woman and her 10-month-old daughter, and we affirm the Hearing Board’s finding that Respondent violated Rule 8.4(a)(3). We also find that the Administrator acted in good faith. We agree with the Hearing Board that Respondent should be disbarred. We believe that his disbarment is necessary to protect the public and maintain the integrity of the legal profession.”

According to the court filing, Mr. Goings acquired his law license in Illinois in 2005.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.