Vancouver man guilty in attempted murder, kidnapping case

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: March 12, 2014, 7:44 PM

 

A Clark County jury Wednesday found a Vancouver man guilty in the kidnapping, robbery and shooting of a Beaverton, Ore., man in November 2012 near Vancouver Lake.

The jury of seven women and five men convicted Pedro “Junior” Godinez Jr., 20, of first-degree attempted murder with a firearm enhancement and aggravating factors. The jury also found him guilty of kidnapping, robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 26.

Godinez kidnapped, robbed and repeatedly shot Freddie Landstrom, 39, on Nov. 28, 2012, after Godinez’s then-girlfriend, Joanna Speaks, lured Landstrom to her apartment in east Vancouver.

“I appreciate the jury coming out and making justice swiftly,” Landstrom said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I look forward to the opportunity to see that the judge does something that puts something evil away.”

The jury found that Godinez committed crimes with deliberate cruelty and lack of remorse, both aggravating factors, either of which could bring a potential sentence above the state’s standard range. The firearm enhancement adds a mandatory five years to any sentence.

Jurors began deliberations about 9 a.m. Wednesday, after a six-day trial in Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson’s courtroom. They reached a verdict just after noon. During deliberations, jurors asked to review audio of a Vancouver police interview with Landstrom while Landstrom was being transported in an ambulance to a hospital emergency room. Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino presented the recording on the first day of testimony in the trial.

Landstrom testified that Godinez’s then-girlfriend, Joanna Speaks, lured him to her apartment in east Vancouver early Nov. 28, 2012. After he arrived, he said, Godinez entered the residence with a gun and demanded that Landstrom give up his wallet and cellphone. Landstrom said he’d never met Godinez before that night. Godinez allegedly forced Landstrom to get into Landstrom’s 2012 black Nissan Sentra and drive him to Vancouver Lake.

At some point before the shooting, Landstrom said, Godinez forced him at gunpoint to disclose the PIN to his ATM card.

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Speaks, 23, pleaded guilty July 10 to participating in the robbery and tampering with a witness in the case. She was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison as part of her plea bargain. In exchange, Gasperino dismissed charges against her of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and receiving a bribe.

However, on the stand March 6, Speaks changed her story. She claimed that she perpetrated the robbery without Godinez’s knowledge.

Surveillance cameras captured Godinez driving Landstrom’s 2012 black Nissan Sentra outside a convenience store and outside a motel, using Landstrom’s ATM card at a credit union and entering the convenience store, where Godinez reportedly withdrew $2,000 of Landstrom’s money from an ATM machine.

A DNA profile matching Godinez’s was found on the gearshift and steering wheel of Landstrom’s Nissan Sentra, Gasperino said.

Caron Pruiett, a forensic scientist with the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Vancouver, testified that the probability that the DNA on the gear shift belonged to someone else in the United States is 1 in 14 quintillion. She said her tests also showed that Godinez was a possible contributor to DNA found on Landstrom’s steering wheel.

Godinez fled to Grandview, where police apprehended him 10 days after the shooting, Gasperino said.

Godinez’s attorney, Chuck Buckley argued Tuesday that there was not convincing evidence that Godinez was the man in the surveillance footage. Buckley said there also was not evidence to show that the assailant intended to kill Landstrom.

He said that the assailant had told Landstrom he wouldn’t kill him; he just wanted Landstrom’s valuables. The plan went awry when Landstrom fought back, Buckley said.

Godinez shot Landstrom five times, in the head, chest, arm, clavicle and hand, Gasperino said. Landstrom ran away through a field and swamp until he stumbled upon Kadow’s Marina, a cluster of houseboats at 10612 N.W. Lower River Road, where a resident called 911.