08/27/09 — Godette accepts plea deal: 42 years

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Godette accepts plea deal: 42 years

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on August 27, 2009 1:46 PM

An 18-year-old Elroy area man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 42 years in prison in Wayne County Superior Court for a violent crime spree in September 2007.

Christin Ray Godette, who was 16 when he was accused of multiple counts of physical and sexual assault and home invasions by the Sheriff's Office, accepted a plea deal with prosecutors on Wednesday.

As part of the arrangement, he was convicted in seven separate judgments, on charges of second-degree sex offenses and kidnapping and first-degree burglary and kidnapping, along with breaking and entering counts and an assault on a detention center officer, according to court minutes.

The sentence will run after another sentence of 3 to 4 1/2 years in prison for a July trial. In that case, he was acquitted of "severely injuring" a Wayne County Jail employee, but convicted of escaping from a local jail, among other charges.

If Godette serves all of the prison terms as ordered, he will be in his mid-60s when he gets out of prison.

The plea deal came after Assistant District Attorney Paige Rouse questioned an elderly neighbor of Godette's, a witness who allegedly had been sexually assaulted by the defendant.

Defense attorney Robert Smith and Ms. Rouse began to discuss the terms of a plea arrangement around 11:30 a.m., and the trial officially came to a close after 2 p.m.

At the time of Godette's crimes, Wayne County Sheriff's Office detectives and Sheriff Carey Winders recalled a long night.

At one point, Godette entered the home of a woman he knew, Cassandra Smith of Colonial Court.

Ms. Smith knew him as "Greg," and law enforcement officers said Godette used that name around his Elroy neighborhood.

The victim was beaten and dragged around by her hair, she testified, while she tried to defend herself by hitting Godette with a lamp, then a shoe.

Security was tight during the trial. A bailiff said Godette tried to circumvent measures designed to keep him in the courtroom.

After the verdict, Judge Arnold Jones ordered Godette be immediately entered into the prison system, and a court official said that had already occurred by Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm very satisfied at the outcome of this, in my opinion this was a dangerous individual," Winders said, noting that Godette tried to escape even while he was in court at trial.

The sheriff said the escape attempts concerned both him and part-time courthouse deputies.

"He had tried to take off the leg brace, and then he tried to take off the shock cuff, during the trial at different points, which is something we use when a person is considered an (escape) risk."