CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4)– A Castle Rock man who says he mistook his wife for an intruder and shot her in the stomach calls what happened “a big accident.” Those comments are recorded on newly-released police body cam footage from the Castle Rock Police Department.
“I see movement, flip the light on and realize someone’s in front of me- pulled the trigger,” said Wayne Godsey, when police asked him to explain how he shot his wife in the abdomen last July. “Dude, I’m so scared right now its not even funny.”
CBS4 previously reported that in December, prosecutors in the 18th Judicial District declined to file any charges against Godsey for shooting his wife, Stacy Washa, on July 27, 2018, saying a criminal charge “is not the right or just outcome.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Douglas Bechtel wrote that Godsey was protected by Colorado’s so-called “Make my Day” law and the “Mistake of Fact” doctrine.
“Applying ‘Mistake of Fact’ to ‘Make My Day,’ an occupant would be authorized to use deadly force against any person,” wrote Bechtel, “if the occupant mistakenly believed the other person was an intruder that had committed a crime and might use force against any occupant. In simpler terms, if the occupant could shoot an intruder, the occupant could shoot a person he mistakenly believes to be an intruder.”
On the body cam video, Godsey described for officers how he heard loud banging late at night. Police said they had other reports of fireworks in the area.
“My gun was on the table upstairs and I grabbed it, pulled it out and put a bullet in the chamber. I need to go see what that was. And I came down here and sat against the door with the gun like so. I see movement, flip on the light, realize someone is in front of me… pulled the trigger.”
One of two shots struck his wife, who had somehow made her way downstairs to the main floor, unbeknownst to her husband. He said he thought she was still in their upstairs bedroom.
Prosecutors noted inconsistencies in Godsey’s story. They said Washa would have had to walk down the stairs, passing the landing to get to the main floor. But in clearing Godsey, investigators also said there did not seem to be any marital discord, no disagreements or arguments and both husband and wife insisted it was an accident.
Godsey had been drinking and registered a .045 on a portable breath test, well below the legal limit for DUI in Colorado.
Paula Bovo, an attorney familiar with the Make My Day law, told CBS4 she thought prosecutors should have filed criminal charges against Godsey and let a jury decide.
“Seemed like they attributed this to a careless accident within a home and not what it really was; someone under the influence of alcohol getting a gun and shooting his wife.”
Bovo said she believes this is the latest case of Colorado prosecutors applying the Make My Day statute more liberally than it was intended.
“The letter from the DA says you can shoot anyone. From the legislation that doesn’t seem to be the case. I do see this coming up more and more and applied more liberally now with DA’s around the state making the choice to not press charges.”
George Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, told CBS4 the decision not to file charges “was not a close call. The available evidence pointed to a legitimate belief by the husband that he was defending himself and his family.”
Brauchler went on to say that he did not believe a jury would have convicted Godsey, “If we are not convinced someone committed a crime, we would be abusing our discretion to move forward against them.”
Brauchler said Godsey’s alcohol level was considered but dismissed as a major issue. The DA said Godsey “did not exhibit any signs of intoxication” and his alcohol level was below the level for impairment.
Godsey and Washa did not respond to numerous inquiries from CBS4 to discuss what happened.
As he was being interviewed later at the Castle Rock Police building, Godsey said of what happened, “That’s a big accident.”