New Jersey

Woman Indicted in Midtown Hotel Mattress Murder; 4 Alleged Accomplices Sought

An attorney for Christine O'Brien denies the charges

A 31-year-old woman was indicted Friday on murder and robbery charges in the death of a 28-year-old man found bloodied and unconscious under a mattress at a midtown Manhattan hotel blocks from the Empire State Building earlier this week, according to court documents and authorities.

Christine O'Brien had been with victim Roderick Goodwin, of Bridgeton, New Jersey, in his hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn early Monday before going down to the lobby and bringing five people -- four men and another woman -- up to Goodwin's hotel room with the intent to rob him, a criminal complaint alleges.

Surveillance video shows O'Brien, the four men and other woman, getting onto an elevator from the lobby around 3:30 a.m., then leaving the hotel sometime later, the complaint says. Two of the men were seen walking down the stairs carrying a large object hidden in a sheet, which is believed to have been a hotel safe stolen from Goodwin's room at the 298-room hotel near Herald Square.

According to court documents, hotel security alerted police after getting a number of complaints around 3:45 a.m. about noise and yelling coming from Goodwin's room. Officers responding to a 911 call found him face down on the floor under the mattress, authorities have said. Blood and broken glass littered the floor of the room, the criminal complaint said. Goodwin was pronounced dead at a hospital. The medical examiner ruled he died of blunt force trauma and asphyxiation,

According to the criminal complaint, one of the men O'Brien allegedly brought up to Goodwin's room smashed him in the head with a bottle, causing some of the traumatic injuries detectives observed. All five suspects then proceeded to beat up Goodwin, kicking and punching him while they repeatedly demanded he give them the combination of the hotel room safe, the complaint said.

O'Brien allegedly told investigators she hit Goodwin in the torso. At one point during the beating, when Goodwin said something that sounded like a number, O'Brien allegedly told investigators she went to the room safe and tried to open it using the number she heard. It didn't work.

Ultimately, O'Brien and the other four suspects left the room together and pulled the safe off the wall so they could take it with them, the criminal complaint says. It wasn't clear what might have been in the safe, and there was no word on the whereabouts of the group O'Brien allegedly involved.

O'Brien was remanded to jail after arraignment Wednesday. She was not in court when the grand jury indictment was announced Friday and is due back in court next month.

Daniel Scott, an attorney for O'Brien, said the criminal complaint has some inaccuracies.

"What they claim she said she did is not true," Scott said. "You have very persuasive detectives putting words in people's mouths."

Scott said detectives obtained the information after a lengthy interrogation that lasted "many hours." He said he met with his client after the indictment was handed down Friday, and that she's doing OK, given the circumstances. Scott said he and his client were looking forward to litigating the case.

The Hilton Garden Inn did not return AP calls earlier this week seeking comment on the murder.  

Contact Us