Suffolk man guilty of murder in Hampton

Published 9:21 pm Thursday, September 15, 2011

A 21-year-old Suffolk man was found guilty Wednesday of a murder in Hampton.

A jury recommended that Deshawn Goodwin-Godfrey spent 19 years behind bars for killing Julius Omar Bartley. He was convicted of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

The murder occurred Nov. 29, 2009, at a Hampton house party.

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Prosecutors used eyewitnesses and a positive gunshot residue test from Goodwin-Godfrey’s hands to convince the jury.

“One person in particular identified him as having fired the gun,” said prosecutor John Haugh.

However, defense attorney Tyrone Johnson said he was “stunned” at the jury’s verdict.

“I don’t see how they came to that based on the inconsistent identity of my client,” he said.

According to Johnson, the witnesses differed in their accounts of the shooting and even on details such as the suspect’s height and clothing. One witness said the shooter was wearing a gray hoodie with a white T-shirt, and another said he was wearing a camouflage jacket.

“They were all over the place as far as giving a description,” Johnson said, adding that one witness said he was “80 to 90 percent sure” Goodwin-Godfrey was the shooter.

He was picked up walking a short distance from the party because he was wearing a camouflage jacket. According to court testimony, it was his aunt’s jacket that she had used at a shooting range. Johnson argued that was how gunshot residue got on his client’s hands.

The shooting happened at night in the backyard of a house party where several fights had broken out and other people were shooting into the air.

“It’s chaotic,” Johnson said. “And all that came out in court. I’ve never been stunned like that in a case.”

Goodwin-Godfrey is due back in court Dec. 21 for sentencing. Johnson said he plans to appeal the verdict.