Death penalty sought in 8 Mississippi killings

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — A Mississippi man accused of eight killings pleaded not guilty Monday to all charges, including four counts of capital murder for which prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty.

Willie Cory Godbolt, 35, appeared for a brief arraignment in Brookhaven, the seat of Lincoln County, where the shootings happened nearly 10 months ago during what prosecutors describe as an all-night rampage. The shootings left a sheriff’s deputy, some of Godbolt’s in-laws, and other acquaintances dead.

Godbolt was indicted Thursday on four counts of capital murder, four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of kidnapping.


Investigators say that on May 27, Godbolt went to his in-laws’ home to confront his estranged wife and demand she give up their two children.

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Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Willam Durr responded to an emergency call from the home and told Godbolt to leave. Relatives said it seemed Godbolt was going to comply when he began shooting.

He is accused of killing Durr, mother-in-law Barbara Mitchell, and in-laws Brenda May and Toccara May. He is also accused of firing at another deputy before fleeing

He then went to two more homes in Lincoln County. In the first one, he shot teens Jordan Blackwell and Austin Edwards as they played video games, and at the second, he fatally shot Ferral and Shelia Burrage, prosecutors said.