Trial goes to larger courtroom for man charged in 8 killings

MGN Online

A Mississippi judge is moving the trial of a man charged with killing a sheriff’s deputy and seven other people.

Posted: Nov 17, 2019 9:37 PM

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge is moving the trial of a man charged with killing a sheriff’s deputy and seven other people.

But, the judge is denying defense attorneys’ request to delay the trial of Willy Cory Godbolt by at least six months. They wanted more time to prepare.

Goldbolt has been held without bail since his arrest hours after the killings in May 2017. He is charged with killing the deputy, his own mother-in-law and six others at three houses in and around Brookhaven, in southwest Mississippi’s Lincoln County.

Goldbolt 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.

The trial is set to begin in February and the Daily Leader reported that Circuit Judge David Strong signed an order Thursday to move it to neighboring Pike County, where the courtroom is larger.

Jurors will be chosen from DeSoto County, about 275 miles (443 kilometers) to the north. They will be brought to Pike County.

Allison Steiner, with the capital defense counsel division of the state public defender’s office, filed a motion to reset the trial date Sept. 29.

“Feb. 10 is impossible,” she argued in Strong’s courtroom during an Oct. 29 hearing.

Steiner said when the trial date was originally set, Jason Tate of the Lincoln County Public Defender’s Office was on the defense team with Allison Poor with the state public defender’s office. Poor recently had a baby and is on maternity leave. Tate left the county public defender’s office in July.

Hazlehurst attorney M.A. Bass Jr. joined the defense team in August, but Steiner said Tate’s departure leaves the defense team unable to prepare adequately with attorneys who have the experience and training required by the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Steiner indicated that if trial isn’t delayed, an appeals court will likely agree that she was not ready and find error.

“I think the court will be trying this again,” she said.

District Attorney Dee Bates’ office is prosecuting other murder cases in a district that covers Walthall, Pike and Lincoln counties.

“The State of Mississippi has at all times maintained that it will be ready for trial. Additionally, the state would show a delay in this case would jeopardize the rights of other defendants presently charged,” Assistant District Attorney Robert Byrd wrote in court papers.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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