Friday 15 December 2017

Man accused of Mississippi shooting spree 'had faced a life of violence'

Willie Cory Godbolt is arrested after eight were killed in the US. Photo: Reuters
Willie Cory Godbolt is arrested after eight were killed in the US. Photo: Reuters

Jeff Amy

The man accused of killing a sheriff's deputy and seven people he knew in rural Mississippi led a life marked by violence, it has emerged.

When Willie Cory Godbolt was 17, his mother shot and killed his father, a Brookhaven police officer, after the two had separated, Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell said. In the two decades since, Godbolt was charged with misdemeanour assault or similar crimes at least a dozen times, and convicted in at least six of them, Lincoln County court records show.

Last June, his wife accused him of choking and punching her, and putting his hand in her mouth so she couldn't scream.

Investigators said his most violent act yet happened over the weekend when a domestic violence dispute spiralled into a killing spree that left eight people dead at three separate homes. He may face the death penalty if convicted.

About two decades ago, Godbolt's mother accused his father of domestic violence, but the charges were later dropped. In 1999, using her ex-husband's police revolver, she shot him dead and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and burglary.

Godbolt, shackled at his hands and feet, appeared in court on Tuesday and was denied bail. His left arm was bandaged from a gunshot wound, but it was not clear who shot him. Investigators said it was not police.

Those killed were Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy William Durr; Barbara Mitchell (55); Brenda May (53); Toccara May (35); Ferral Burage (45); Shelia Burage (46); Austin Edwards (11); and Jordan Blackwell (18).

Irish Independent

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