Jury in for trial of man charged with killing 8 — arguments begin Saturday

Published 6:54 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

Opening arguments are set for today in the death penalty case of a Bogue Chitto man accused of killing eight people in three locations overnight in 2017.

Jury selection took five days for the trial of Willie Cory Godbolt.

Investigators said Godbolt went to his in-laws’ home in south Mississippi’s Lincoln County in May 2017 and argued with his estranged wife and her family over the couple’s two children. A deputy was called, and a witness said Godbolt shot and killed the deputy, Godbolt’s mother-in-law and two other people. After that, Godbolt shot and killed four other people at two other homes, police said.

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Godbolt, now 37, said “I’m sorry” while a reporter was recording him after the shootings.

Jury selection was done in north Mississippi’s DeSoto County, 285 miles north of Lincoln County, because of pre-trial publicity in the area where the killings took place. The 12 jurors were selected Friday. They will hear the case at a courthouse in Magnolia, which is near Lincoln County.

Godbolt has pleaded not guilty to four counts of capital murder and murder, one count of attempted murder and armed robbery and two counts of kidnapping. He has remained in custody since his arrest on May 28, 2017, hours after the shootings.

Lincoln County District Attorney Dee Bates said he will seek the death penalty.