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On Thursday, Judge Ronald D. White sentenced Billy Godfrey, 52, of Rolla to serve 35 life sentences in prison stemming from his July 29, 2015 plea to 35 counts of statutory sodomy in the 1st degree. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.
Godfrey pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two children between 1995 and 1999 who were between the ages of eight and thirteen. The victims came forward last October and Godfrey confessed to Phelps County Sheriff’s Department Detectives George Arnold and Neil Boshoff. “I am proud of the efforts of our detectives. They presented me with an air tight case,” said Fox.
The victims, now adults, made statements during the sentencing hearing. “I am so proud of their courage and honesty coming forward. Too often victims of sexual abuse suffer in silence for years due to embarrassment and shame. To come forward they have said that they will not suffer in silence and I hope other victims become empowered and also come forward to confront their abusers,” said Fox.
Unmoved by the Godfrey’s plea for mercy, Judge Ronald D. White stated, “You asked for an opportunity to die outside of prison. Given what you did, you don’t deserve it.” Then Judge White sentenced Godfrey to 35 life sentences to be served consecutively which is the equivalent of 1050 years in prison. “This was the worst case of child sexual abuse I have ever seen. These victims were subjected to hundreds of incidents of child abuse over many years. Judge White has ensured that Godrey will never take another breath of free air,” said Fox.
On Monday, David Cole Nash, 29, of Rolla, was sentenced to 15 years in prison stemming from his July convictions on two counts of Domestic Assault in the Second Degree.
Brendon Fox, the Phelps County Prosecutor, argued for a lengthy sentence before Judge Kerry Rowden. “I am satisfied with the sentence. Mr. Nash has demonstrated an inability to function in society due to drug abuse, crimes of violence, and habitual stealing.” said Fox.
Mr. Nash still has several cases awaiting trial for which Fox indicated he is seeking consecutive sentences. “I am hopeful that before it is all said and done Mr. Nash will be a very old man before he sees the outside of a prison.”
Just minutes before the start of his jury trial, Marcus Corey, 27 of Rolla, decided to plead guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison for Possession of a Controlled Substance. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.
On November 18, 2014 SPO Shane Switzer was dispatched to a residence on South Hwy 72 for a disturbance. Upon arrival, it was determined that Corey had fled the scene following the fight. He was later located in the 1300 block of Winchester where he was arrested. Switzer then located Percocet in Corey’s pocket for which Corey did not have a prescription.
“SPO Switzer did a great job on this case,” said Fox. “It is unfortunate when a young man throws away his life because of drugs.”
On Friday David Cole Nash, 29, of Rolla, was found guilty of two counts of Domestic Assault in the Second Degree. The trial took place in Pulaski County before Judge Kerry Rowden as Nash exercised his right to change venue. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.
On July 7, 2012, Nash brutally attacked an ex-girlfriend when he became enraged that she would not let him borrow her car. Nash threw her to the ground and choked her nearly to the point of losing consciousness. Later, after Nash had stopped and seemed to be leaving, he forced his way back inside and tackled the victim, slamming her head into the wall. “I am proud of the victim in this case. Too many victims of domestic violence suffer at the hands of their abusers and don’t come forward. I hope this case will shine a light on the issue and encourage other victims to make the call and seek help,” said Fox.
Mr. Nash is set for sentencing on September 10, 2015. Domestic Assault in the Second Degree is normally a class C felony, but because of Mr. Nash’s prior history he will face up to 15 years imprisonment on each count.
Brendon Fox, the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney announced that on Monday Joseph Perou, 39, of Rolla, was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for scamming elderly citizens. Previously on June 4, 2015, Perou pleaded guilty to two counts of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly, class B felonies. However, due to 12 prior felony convictions the range of punishment was enhanced.
Beginning in October 2014 and continuing for several weeks, Mr. Perou exploited several local, elderly citizens by promising to complete construction work. Mr. Perou never completed any work but instead ran off with partial payments. He continued exploiting new victims in an attempt to try and pay back previous victims. Mr. Perou was able to scam citizens out of more than $50,000 before he was caught.
“Mr. Perou is the most prolific financial criminal I have ever prosecuted. The number of victims state-wide over the years is staggering,” said Fox. “I find it particularly egregious that he was targeting the elderly, and want to encourage everyone to work together to protect the elderly from predators like Mr. Perou.”