A man accused of killing eight people, including a deputy sheriff, on Memorial Day weekend 2017 was convicted yesterday by a Mississippi jury.
Jurors will now decide whether to impose the death penalty.
Prosecutors said 37-year-old Willie Cory Godbolt fatally shot eight people including relatives and an officer who responded to the domestic disturbance on May 27, 2017. Witnesses testified Godbolt first went to the home of his in-laws and argued with his estranged wife, Sheena Godbolt, and their children. Four were killed at that home: Lincoln County deputy sheriff William Durr; Barbara Mitchell, Sheena’s mother; Toccara May, Sheena’s sister; and her sister-in-law, Brenda May.
“Cory just snapped. Cory couldn’t see the breakup of his family. He couldn’t fail to protect his children. In that moment in a haze of fear at the breakup of his family, Cory pulled his gun out,” Godbolt’s attorney Katherine Poor told the court.
Later that night in the early hours of May 28, two more people were killed in a second home: 18-year-old Jordan Blackwell and 11-year-old Austin Edwards. Tiffany Blackwell arrived at home to find her son and nephew dead.
Hours later, a married couple, Ferral Burage and Sheila Burage, were shot to death at a third home. Godbolt was arrested near a business as he walked away from the Burages’ house.
Godbolt was convicted on four counts of capital murder, four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed robbery.