Houston man who dismembered 18-year-old sentenced to 45 years

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024
$1.2M bond for man accused of dismembering Houston teen
Henry David Cossette was given a $1,200,000 bond for his alleged part in the murder of Sara Goodwin, who was reported missing in early February.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for strangling and dismembering an 18-year-old Spring woman, then hiding her remains.

The video above is from ABC13's previous reporting on this case.

Last week, Henry David Cossette was convicted during a two-day bench trial in the murder of Sara Goodwin, who was killed on Feb. 6, 2022.

Cossette met Goodwin on what's known as the Bissonnet Track in southwest Houston, an infamous area for prostitution and human trafficking.

SEE ALSO: Prostitution in Houston: Women tell their stories in their own words

They went back to his apartment in the Alief area, where Cossette strangled her.

After he killed her, Cossette went to the grocery store and bought trash bags. He returned home and dismembered Goodwin's body in the bathtub, putting her remains in the bags.

Cossette dumped the bags in a rural area off Beltway 8, about 13 miles from his home.

On the night Goodwin was killed, she told a friend she was getting picked up, and had that friend monitor her phone's location. The phone was in the area of Cossette's apartment for several hours before it went dead.

Goodwin's friend called police and filed a missing persons report after she disappeared, giving her last-known location.

Two weeks later, he set a charcoal fire in his apartment, telling emergency responders when they arrived on scene that he was trying to kill himself because he murdered a woman. He also revealed where he dumped the bags with Goodwin's remains, which were then recovered.

An autopsy confirmed Goodwin had been strangled.

"He tried to burn down his apartment in order to kill himself, and then police and HFD got called out and he told them all he felt guilty about what he did," Assistant District Attorney Helen Le said. "Guilt or innocence was never the issue in this case."

"A big part of this crime is that he looks and behaves like a normal person that you might see every day," Dana Nazarova, who prosecuted the case with Le, said. "But you never know what someone can actually do behind closed doors."

Cossette chose to have a judge decide his case rather than have it go to a jury.

"This young lady had her whole life ahead of her and did not deserve to lose her life," Nazarova said. "She didn't have a chance to fight back, and it was this defendant's intentional acts that killed her - he was on top of her, choking her as she took her last breath."

STORY FROM 2022: $1.2M bond set for Henry David Cossette who went before judge and claimed self-defense