Jury set in murder trial of man accused of killing 8 people, including deputy

Published 12:54 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

Opening arguments are set for Saturday in the death penalty case of a Mississippi man accused of killing eight people.

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.

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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.
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, four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed robbery. He has remained in custody since his arrest on May 28, 2017, hours after the shootings.

One of his attorneys has said Godbolt is unlikely to use an insanity defense.