A Mississippi man was convicted on Tuesday on four counts of capital murder among other charges related to the 2017 shooting death of eight people, according to multiple reports.
A jury found Cory Godbolt, 37, guilty of capital murder, four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed robbery.
On the evening of March 27, 2017, he went to his in-laws’ home and argued with his estranged wife Sheena about their children, according to the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Miss.
It was there that he shot Sheena’s mother Barbara Mitchell, as well as Toccara May, Brenda May and Lincoln County deputy sheriff William Durr.
In the early morning hours of the following day, Godbolt traveled to a second home where he shot Jordan Blackwell, 18, and Austin Edward, 11. A few hours later, he arrived at a third home and fatally shot Ferral Burage and his wife Sheila Burage.
“Of any case out there, this one is full of the defendant’s deliberate design,” Assistant District Attorney Todney Tidwell told jurors during closing arguments. Deliberate design is a legal term, which means intent to kill, according to local station WLBT.
Godbolt addressed the jury, with the judge’s permission, and spoke for 15 minutes in an effort to explain his side of the story.
“What came from that night was not the fruit of my heart, but of my perception,” he said. “I didn’t have a plan.”
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Assistant District Attorney Brendon Adams completed the state’s 90-minute closing arguments, local newspaper The Daily Leader reported. “Cory Godbolt loved his children. He loved his wife. How did he show love? He slaughtered their family. He killed his wife’s mother, his wife’s sister. He killed his wife’s aunt. He killed his children’s aunt, his children’s grandmother, his children’s cousin,” the paper reported that he said.
“If you believe what you’ve been told, that man slaughtered eight people out of love. He loved Bogue Chitto, he loved his family. Ladies and gentlemen, what you have seen, what you have heard, is not love.”
On Wednesday, the jury will determine whether to sentence him to death for the capital murder charges. The Clarion Ledger reports if the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision, then the judge will sentence Godbolt to life without parole.