Ed. note: The man charged in this case, Martin Blackwell, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on August 24, 2016 for his assault against Marquez Tolbert and Anthony Gooden.
Earlier this year, Marquez Tolbert and his partner Anthony Gooden were fast asleep when Gooden’s mother’s boyfriend entered the Goodens’ apartment and poured scalding water on both men. The alleged perp Martin Blackwell — who told police he did it because the men are gay — has since been arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated battery. He remains in custody at the Fulton County Jail.
The attack left both men scarred physically and emotionally, and saddled with significant medical bills.
Facing a $128,000 hospital bill, Gooden asked his cousin Diyawn Jackson to set up a GoFundMe page. To date, it has raised over $70,000. The problem? Gooden says he’s yet to receive the full amount.
Jackson told Atlanta’s Channel 2 that she wants to avoid any tax liability of her own and make sure the money is used to pay the hospital:
“I’ve given him more than half the money. Now I’m trying to get with him so we can take care of Grady [Memorial Hospital] to some capacity and then if there’s something left over he can have it,” Jackson said.
Jackson told Channel 2’s Nicole Carr she is protecting herself from tax liability and protecting Gooden from other family members she fears would use the money for things that have nothing to do with his medical expenses.
“My thing is my name was on that account, and I don’t want any repercussions on me for misappropriating the funds,” Jackson said.
Jackson says she wants to meet with Gooden to sign an agreement releasing her from any liability. She recently shut down the GoFundMe page and hired an attorney.
A separate GoFundMe page for Marquez Tolbert — started by a friend of his mother — has raised over $68,000 towards his medical bills.
Friendly reminder for anyone thinking about firing up a GoFundMe page on someone else’s behalf: ultimately, YOU are responsible for disbursement of funds. If Gooden would have simply started his own page, all of the above could have been avoided.