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March 2, 2021

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La Center man sentenced to nearly 8 years in prison in kidnapping of estranged wife

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A La Center man who kidnapped his estranged wife in September 2018 was sentenced Friday to nearly eight years in prison.

Richard J. Godsy Jr., 49, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to second-degree domestic violence kidnapping. He was previously facing a charge of first-degree domestic violence kidnapping; the prosecution later added domestic violence charges of two counts of felony court order violation and tampering with a witness, based on jail calls to the victim and a third party.

Judge John Fairgrieve accepted the attorneys’ agreed-upon sentencing recommendation of 93 months, or 7 3/4 years, of prison. If convicted at trial, Godsy would have faced nearly 14 1/2 to 16 1/2 years in prison, according to the prosecution.

In addition to prison, Godsy will serve 18 months of community custody, court records show.

A La Center police officer responded about 11:15 p.m. Sept. 6, 2018, to the 1700 block of East Heritage Loop for a report of a disturbance. Someone at the address said Godsy and the victim were fighting, and then the victim disappeared, only to return home a short time later crying and injured, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Godsy and his estranged wife had met in the driveway of her home so he could give her the title to a car and she could give him a cellphone. When she was in the car, Godsy locked the doors and drove off with her inside, La Center Police Chief Marc Denney previously told The Columbian.

The woman begged to be let out of the car and told police Godsy said he was going to the store to buy beer. When he refused to let her out, she “immediately felt scared, as she felt something was off,” the affidavit says.

She began to scream, and Godsy said, “One of us is going to the grave, and the other is going to prison,” the affidavit reads.

Godsy’s hand was reportedly behind her headrest, and the woman believed he had a knife. She “discreetly found the door unlock button, opened the passenger door and jumped out while it was moving,” the affidavit states. The vehicle was going about 25 mph. The woman ran to a car that was driving behind them and asked the driver for help.

Godsy had been released from prison within the last year after serving time for unlawful imprisonment and tampering with a witness, both domestic violence-related convictions, and violating a felony domestic violence court order, Denney previously told The Columbian. He said Godsy’s estranged wife was the victim of those charges.

Efforts to reach Godsy’s defense attorney Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.


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