The Supreme Court has set an execution date for a man convicted of killing his former neighbor with a hammer in 1998.

Paul Goodwin (courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

Paul Goodwin (courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

The Court has ordered that Paul Goodwin be executed December 10 for the murder of Joan Crotts.

Court documents say Goodwin had repeatedly harassed and threatened Crotts when he moved into a boarding house next to her home in St. Louis County. Goodwin was eventually evicted from that boarding house and Crotts’ daughter says Goodwin blamed Crotts for it.

A year and a half after his eviction Goodwin returned to the neighborhood and snuck in Crotts’ home through the back door while she investigated an open gate to her yard, which he was also responsible for. He stayed in her basement for hours before entering her apartment.

He forced her to perform a sex act on him before pushing her down the basement stairs and striking her in the head with a hammer.

Crotts was still alive when her daughter found her that afternoon, and was able to tell police before she died what had happened.

In addition to finding Goodwin’s fingerprints at the scene and the victim’s blood on his clothes, police found his hearing aid at the scene. Goodwin has a hearing impairment that required authorities to have a sign-language interpreter present when they interviewed him about the crime, which he confessed to at that time. Goodwin was sentenced to death in December, 1999.

Goodwin was sentenced to death in December, 1999.

Missouri is next scheduled to carry out the execution of Leonard Taylor November 19 for the 1994 murder of a man working at a gas station that he robbed.