The court heard arguments from both the state and the Public Defenders’ Office in the case.
In 2020, Lincoln County jurors found Godbolt guilty of all 12 counts against him, including four counts of murder and four counts of capital murder. He received a sentence of life in prison for each murder conviction and a death sentence for each capital murder conviction.
His public defenders argue the conviction should be overturned due to bad act evidence, but state prosecutors insisted that the evidence is there.
“There was significant evidence of Godbolt’s motive and intent that night. Even if you exclude the prior bad act evidence, for example, Bubble’s testimony again about Godbolt, watching videos about how to unload, unload, and load his guns the day of the murders,” said Allison Hartman with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.
Godbolt shot and killed eight people in May 2017, including his mother-in-law and a Lincoln County deputy, during a house-to-house shooting rampage.
His defenders said there should have been separate trials and that a disproportionately comprised jury decided Godbolt’s fate.
“All this character evidence, all this propensity evidence served only to arouse the emotions of the jury, served only to inflame,” said Greg Spore with the Public Defenders’ Office.
The state argued that Godbolt’s prior violent acts against his wife at the time show motive and evidence of his plan to kill.
A decision on the case is expected to come by May 2024.