The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office dodged a potentially thorny legal challenge last week when Timothy Michael Goff pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder.
Three years ago, Goff, then a 41-year-old pipefitter living in Port Orchard, Wash., became jealous when his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend took up with Grant High School senior Jack Hornstein.
But the pipe bomb Goff built for Jack instead blew off his father's foot when Barry Hornstein found it in his Laurelhurst driveway (see "Pipe Nightmare," WW, Aug. 13, 2003).
Facing a Sept. 8 trial, Goff, a former Portlander, slashed three decades off his potential sentence by agreeing to serve 12 years in prison.
Files police found on Goff's hard drive linked him directly to the bombing. But that evidence was not likely to be seen by a jury, thanks to a motion filed by his attorneys challenging the constitutionality of the search.
After the guilty plea, Barry Hornstein told WW that prosecutors' decision to settle was largely driven by the "strong possibility" that the hard-drive files would not have been admitted.
Hornstein would have preferred a longer sentence, but says, "I feel good about [the deal]. It's good to have this behind us. The system does work."