A Clark County prosecutor has asked a judge to sentence Pedro “Junior” Godinez Jr. to 50 years in prison for the attempted murder of an Oregon man in November 2012 near Vancouver Lake.
Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino said Freddie Landstrom, 39, of Beaverton, Ore., was lured to the apartment of Godinez’s then-girlfriend, Joanna Speaks, on Nov. 28, 2012. Godinez abducted Landstrom — someone he’d never met before — at gunpoint, led Landstrom to believe that he would live until the point when Landstrom gave Godinez his ATM PIN numbers, and then shot Landstrom five times.
Wounded, Landstrom escaped by fleeing in the darkness through a swamp and field until he stumbled upon Kadow’s Marina, a cluster of houseboats at 10612 N.W. Lower River Road, where a resident called 911.
“This is an execution, and it’s a planned execution where he makes the victim think he’s going to live the whole time,” Gasperino said Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson was scheduled to sentence Godinez, 20, of Vancouver on Wednesday but postponed her decision until April 2 in light of a new challenge by Godinez’s attorney, Chuck Buckley. However, she allowed the lawyers in the case to make their arguments for sentence lengths and heard testimony from Landstrom.
A jury found Godinez guilty March 12 of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The jury also 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. A mandatory five years will be added to any sentence because Godinez committed the crimes with a firearm.
Landstrom told the judge he’d never met Godinez before the night of the crimes.
“The first thing you see is him pointing a gun at me,” he said. “You think, what is it you did to deserve this?”
“When you’re on your knees, you’re given, ‘Sorry, this is your last day,’ and ‘I run Vancouver.’?
“If he could do this to a stranger who he never talked to, I don’t know what he could do to someone who said something wrong to him,” Landstrom said.
On Wednesday, Buckley objected to the state’s decision to count the attempted murder and kidnapping as a separate criminal conduct when calculating Godinez’s potential sentence under state sentencing guidelines. Doing so adds time to Godinez’s potential sentence. He recommended a sentence of about 30 years, which is in the middle of the state standard range under his calculations.
He also argued that the jury’s finding that the crimes were committed with deliberate cruelty and lack of remorse should not be considered at sentencing.
“What’s the normal attempted murder?” Buckley asked. “I’m not sure you could ever attempt to define it. It’s cruel in its very nature and egregious in its very nature.” He also said the fact that Godinez decided to go to trial does not, under law, show a lack of remorse.
“It is hard to imagine a more deliberately cruel act than shooting a stranger for the purpose of property multiple times and leaving the person with the idea he would die when the person was going to extraordinary means to get help,” Johnson responded.
She said that while Landstrom was bleeding and trudging through a swamp in the dark to find help, Godinez was using Landstrom’s vehicle, ATM cards and PIN numbers to withdraw $2,000. That, she said, shows a lack of remorse.
However, she said she would consider Buckley’s objections and consult case law on the matter before reaching a decision.
Speaks pleaded guilty July 10 to participating in the robbery and tampering with a witness in the case. She was sentenced to 3½ years in prison as part of a plea bargain.