Defense attorney Brian Abraham said this afternoon that Jerry Godby claimed all along that he was only acting in self defense when he fatally shot his wife, Delores Godby, in their home on Harrison Avenue in Chapmanville on May 17. Abraham said all charges against Godby were dropped and he will be released from his home confinement later today.
Abraham said Godby told police at the time of his arrest that he was acting in self defense. Abraham said those statements were never entered into the criminal complaint and the state chose to pursue first-degree murder charges because Godby did not leave the residence.
"Our position is that all along he said he acted in self-defense," Abraham said. "From the beginning, he cooperated with police and told them he was trying to defend himself. He acknowledged what happened."
Abraham said Delores Godby attacked her husband and came at him with a beer bottle in her hand.
"His injuries were consistent with those statements," Abraham said.
Kanawha County Senior Status Magistrate Marva Crouch stated in her order this morning that she found "no probably cause for the offense of first-degree murder."
Special Prosecutor Keith Randolph from Boone County represented the state in the case.
Godby, 64, of Chapmanville, was arrested in Logan County by the Chapmanville Police Department on first degree murder charges on May 17 and booked at the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden.
Chapmanville Police Sgt. Alan Browning said there was a domestic disturbance at the Godby residence around 7 p.m. and when Chapmanville Officer Burley Ferrell arrived on the scene, Delores Godby, was injured by a gunshot wound. She was rushed to Logan Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries and died later.
"Mr. Godby and Mrs. Godby had been arguing," the police report states. "At some point, Mr. Godby went into his bedroom closet where he retrieved a brown and black leather bag containing a loaded .38 Special revolver. Mr. Godby unzipped the bag, removed the firearm and walked by Mrs. Godby into the kitchen where he turned around and pointed the gun at her. Mr. Godby stated he told Mrs. Godby to back off and she said ‘You are going to shoot me.’ Mr. Godby then fired one round into the chest of Mrs. Godby."
Browning said alcohol was a factor in the incident. He also said Jerry Godby was arrested without incident.
Jerry Godby, who is currently employed as a state government worker with the Department of Transportation, was the news director at WLOG Radio and he worked at both the Guyandotte Voice and The Logan Banner.