Willie Godbolt was sentenced to death by the State of Mississippi for a shooting that left eight people dead. According to court documents Willie Godbolt went to the first home where he shot three people dead. Willie Godbolt would travel to another home where he shot two people dead. Then Willie Godbolt would travel to yet another home and shot two more people dead. The victims were: Deputy William Durr, Barbara Mitchell, Brenda May, Toccara May, Austin Edwards, Jordan Blackwell, Ferral Burrage, and Sheila Burrage. Willie Godbolt would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Mississippi Death Row Inmate List
Willie Godbolt 2021 Information
|Race: BLACK||Sex: MALE||Date of Birth: 05/01/1982|
|Height: 6′ 0”||Weight: 240||Complexion:|
|Build:||Eye Color: BROWN||Hair Color: BLACK|
|Entry Date:||Location: MSP||UNIT: UNIT 29|
|Location Change Date: 02/28/2020||Number of Sentences: 12||Total Length: DEATH|
Willie Godbolt More News
Willie Cory Godbolt was given four death sentences, six life sentences and two 20-year sentences. The judge set his execution date for July 15.
Testimony wrapped up Thursday morning in the sentencing phase of Godbolt’s capital murder trial. Before the jury began deliberations, attorneys and Godbolt presented closing arguments. While Godbolt was speaking, a family member yelled out and told him to “shut up,” which led the judge to recess the proceedings for about 20 minutes.
The same jury found Godbolt, 37, guilty Tuesday of four counts of capital murder, four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed robbery.
Relatives of the victims and Godbolt’s sister and aunt took the stand Wednesday. At times, they became emotional while speaking about their loved ones.
“Our lives have been changed forever. None of us will ever be the same. It’s a daily struggle just to get up in the morning, but I go on because of my family,” said Tiffany Blackwell, mother of murder victim Jordan Blackwell.
Prosecutors said Godbolt killed Blackwell, 18; Lincoln County sheriff’s Deputy William Durr, 36; Barbara Mitchell, 55; Brenda May, 53; Tocara May, 35; Austin Edwards, 11; Ferral Burage, 45; and Sheila Burage, 46.
Godbolt’s sister, Shelly Porter, was shaking as she testified Wednesday. She fought back tears when asked how her children are dealing with the situation.
“It’s hard for my oldest,” Porter said. “Cory was his best buddy.”
In addition to Porter, the defense called witnesses who testified that Godbolt never received counseling after his father was fatally shot in 1999.
“He was killed by our stepmother,” Porter said. “It was heartbreaking. It hurt.”
Porter said her brother had anger toward their stepmother, who was later convicted and sentenced to prison.
“We were glad she went to jail and everything like that, but we had to deal with it ourselves,” Porter said.
The first witness called during sentencing was Tressie Hall Durr, the slain deputy’s widow.
“I’ve lost the love of my life. I lost my housemate. I lost my typical schedule with my bonus son. I lost my help mate. I lost my ballgame partner, because we are avid Mississippi State fans. I lost my travel partner. I lost the one person that I knew, no matter what went on in my life, I could depend on to be there for me,” Hall Durr said.
Diane Davis Harris, Godbolt’s first-grade teacher in Bogue Chitto, testified on his behalf.
“I’m on the stand to testify because last night, God gave me a word for Cory,” Harris said as she stood up and addressed Godbolt. “It does not matter, Cory whether, you live, or whether you die. The most important thing you should know today (is) where you’re going to spend eternity.”
Godbolt, who was sitting next to his attorney, raised his hand and nodded.
During closing arguments Tuesday, Godbolt showed no reaction as prosecutors described a violent rampage from Bogue Chitto to Brookhaven in which he seemed intent on hurting his estranged wife, her family and friends.
Godbolt didn’t testify, but he did offer a part of defense attorneys’ closing argument.
“In all of my brokenness and all of my feelings, my option was to take my own life,” Godbolt said.
During the trial, jurors were shown video of Godbolt that was recorded in the hours after the May 2017 shootings in Lincoln County. In one of the videos, Godbolt is seen and heard saying, “I’m completely sorry and heartbroken about that deputy.”
This is one of the saddest cases in Mississippi. He destroyed so many lives. Lord have mercy on his soul