Oral arguments heard for Willie Cory Godbolt death penalty case

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 1:39 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Supreme Court is taking up the case of Willie Cory Godbolt, the death row inmate who challenged the High Court to argue his own case.

His request was denied in early November. However, Godbolt appealed the conviction, saying the trial court erred on several fronts, including denying his right to sever by trying him on multiple crimes at once and by denying him the right to an impartial jury.

According to a 37-page filing, he said four of the 12 jurors assigned to hear his case had ties to law enforcement.

Godbolt was found guilty in 2020 in connection with the shooting deaths of eight people. He was sentenced to death for killing Deputy William Durr, Jordan Blackwell, Austin Edwards, and Sheila Burage.

He was sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of Brenda May, Barbara Mitchell, Toccara May, and Feral Burage.

Godbolt also was sentenced on two counts of kidnapping, one count of armed robbery, and one count of attempted murder.

While oral arguments are underway, Godbolt won’t be granted permission to make arguments himself.

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