HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — Jury selection continues Tuesday in north Mississippi for the death penalty trial of a man accused of killing eight people on the other end of the state in May 2017.
Willie Cory Godbolt, now 37, said “I’m sorry” while a reporter was recording him after the shootings in south Mississippi’s Lincoln County. The dead included a sheriff’s deputy and Godbolt’s mother-in-law.
Jury selection started Monday at the DeSoto County Courthouse in Hernando, which is near Memphis, Tennessee.
The public information officer for the Mississippi court system, Beverly Pettigrew Kraft, said 500 people were summoned for jury selection. Of the 206 who showed up in court, 75 were excused during questioning Monday.
Jurors and alternates be taken about 285 miles (460 kilometers) south to hear the trial 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 at trial.
Investigators said Godbolt went to his in-laws’ home in Bogue Chitto and got into an argument with his estranged wife and her family over the couple’s two children. 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.