Luke Goodman Killed Himself in Keystone Because of Pot Edibles, Family Says

On Saturday, March 21, Luke Goodman, a 23-year-old from the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, took his own life in Keystone, where he was visiting as part of a family skiing and snowboarding vacation.

Now, his family has come forward to argue that his suicide (he used a gun) came as a result of him eating marijuana edibles.

He's said to have ingested five times more than the recommended dose prior to the fatal shooting.

Thus far, the coroner in Summit County, where Goodman died, continue to investigate the possible role of edibles in the case. But if she reaches the same conclusion, Goodman's death will be the third in about a year to be officially linked to such products.

Goodman's Facebook photo gallery is filled with images that capture him as a happy, active person. Here's one example....

...and another:

Also on view are heartfelt, and heartbreaking, messages of condolence and loss. Here's one example:
I'm so sorry to hear of the passing Luke Goodman. He was ALWAYS kind to me in highschool. There was never a time that I witnessed when Luke was anything but kind to others. He displayed the light of Christ in his love for others and his love for the adventures of life. If you knew Luke, you knew what it meant to see someone brighten at the sight of a friend while being the best friend he could be in return. I don't want to say rest in peace because that isn't really his style. Adventure on, Luke. Heaven will be your greatest one yet.
As for what happened on Saturday, CBS4 has the scoop.

The station reports that Goodman and his cousin, Caleb Fowler, purchased $78 worth of edibles in Silversthorne earlier in the day.

Included among them were peach tart candies that featured the following warnings: "The intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by two or more hours.... The standardized serving size for this product includes no more than 10 mg."

Either Goodman didn't see these instructions or chose to ignore them. He's said to have started by eating two of the candies, and when they didn't have an immediate effect, he consumed three more, bringing the total to five times the recommended dosage.

In the hours that followed, Fowler tells the station, Goodman seemed "jittery," wouldn't make eye contact and otherwise acted "pretty weird and relatively incoherent."

His family subsequently left the condo where they were staying, but he refused to come with them — and in their absence, he used a gun he carried for his protection to end his life.

CBS4 likens this scenario to two previous incidents about which we've reported.

The first involved Levy Thamba Pongi, a nineteen-year old from the Republic of Conga who was attending college in Wyoming.

On March 11, 2014, he and friends were staying at a Holiday Inn on Quebec Street during a visit to Denver.

Here's excerpt from our post:
Thamba was on an upper floor and fell to his death from a balcony.

What happened? According to Denver Office of the Medical Examiner spokeswoman Michelle Weiss-Samaras, Thamba and at least one additional person consumed a marijuana cookie. Shortly thereafter, she says, "another kid got sick and [Thamba] had this happen."

After Thamba's death, toxicology revealed what a coroner's office release describes as "post-mortem chest cavity blood results (basic, synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts panels)." They showed a Delta-9 THC reading of 7.2 ng/mL and a Delta-9 Carboxy THC of 49 ng/mL.

In the end, the cause of death for Thamba (referred to in documents by his full name, Levi Thamba Pongi) was found to have been by "multiple injuries due to fall from height." However, the determination adds that the fall took place after the consumption of a marijuana cookie and lists "marijuana intoxication" as a "significant condition."

This conclusion makes sense in Weiss-Samaras's view because "that's all we had. He was fine, he was normal, he was an easy-going kid, and then he ate this cookie and went over the balcony. And this was not a kid who was suicidal."

The other case cited by CBS4 involved Richard Kirk, who's accused of killing his wife, Kristine Kirk, while she was on the phone with a 911 operator.

During the call, Kristine said her husband had eaten a "marijuana candy," and according to a search warrant affidavit, a receipt was later found for a piece of Karma Kandy Orange Ginger, a marijuana edible.

Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough later told us that toxicology reports cited a low-level presence of THC in Kirk's system after the shooting.

Earlier this month, Kirk entered a not-guilty plea in the case. His trial is slated to get underway on October 26.

The investigation of Goodman's death is not yet complete. Summit County coroner Regan Wood tells CBS4 that the preliminary cause of death in the case is a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But a final decision awaits toxicology reports that are due back in a few weeks.

Wood is aware of reports about the possible impact of marijuana edibles.

Meanwhile, Luke's mother, Kim Goodman, maintains that her son showed no signs of depression and hadn't expressed any suicidal thoughts prior to taking his life. As such, she believes that his death was "100 percent" due to pot edibles.

Here's the CBS4 report.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts