Man in killing that led to Vermont DNA law diesBy WILSON RING
The Associated Press | December 26,2013
GodfreySPRINGFIELD — A Vermont man who killed a Vermont woman and remained free for 14 years — while the victim’s parents urged the Legislature to create the DNA database that was used to identify him as their daughter’s killer — has died in prison.
Howard Godfrey, 67, of Kirby, died early Tuesday in the medical unit of the Springfield prison, state Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito said Tuesday.
Pallito did not give a specific cause of death but said it was from natural causes.
Godfrey was convicted in 2008 of the sexual assault and killing of Patricia Scoville, 28, of Stowe and was serving a sentence of life without parole when he died.
Scoville’s body was found in a shallow grave at the Moss Glen Falls, a scenic spot outside Stowe village. She had ridden her bicycle there on Oct. 23, 1991. Her body was found several days later. She had been hit in the back of the head and sexually assaulted.
Scoville’s death went unsolved for years while her parents, Ann and David Scoville, of Canadaigua, N.Y., lobbied the state Legislature to create a DNA database of people convicted of certain crimes.
David Scoville, reached at his New York home Tuesday, said Godfrey’s death marks the end of another chapter since the death of his daughter.
“We always say there is no such thing as closure other than having Patty back, but this is a closure of sorts,” said Scoville, who along with his wife continues to speak in favor of DNA database proposals since the Vermont law led to their daughter’s killer.
In 2002 the Scovilles received the National Crime Victim Service Award for their efforts. And after Godfrey’s 2008 sentencing, the Scovilles were honored by state officials for their efforts to enact Vermont’s DNA databank. The state’s DNA laboratory was named in their daughter’s memory.
Godfrey gave a DNA sample in 2000 after he was convicted of a non-fatal aggravated assault of a woman in 1996 in Morrisville, not far from where Scoville was killed. That sample was not entered into the national database that linked him to Patricia Scoville’s killing until 2005. He was arrested several days later.
Godfrey was convicted in 2008 of aggravated murder, a crime that in Vermont carries an automatic sentence of life without parole.MORE IN Vermont News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont Gas Systems puts Phase 2 on hold as the latest estimate for Phase 1 takes a 27 percent leap upward, to a total of $157 million; U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin quits for job with private firm; police cite man in pot bust.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Christmas bombing of North Vietnam ordered by President Richard Nixon, most lethal strikes of the war; in 1989, U.S. invades Panama to depose, arrest and charge Gen. Manuel Noriega with drug trafficking, racketeering.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Gov. Peter Shumlin announces demise of his single-payer health insurance initiative; convicted first-degree murderer Alan Prue sentenced to 50 years for killing teacher Melissa Jenkins; veterans chafed about park naming snub.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 497 BC, first Saturnalia festival celebrated in Rome, Scandinavians retain 'Yule Goat' as symbol of season, Krampus, evil side of holiday cheer, terrorizes children into better behavior, more advice from Christopher Hitchens.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 533 AD, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I gets the old empire back together again routing the Vandals from Carthage; in 1890, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull is killed at his home in South Dakota; in 1970, Soviets land probe on Venus.
- DUANE CARLETON: Rutland Herald Events Editor George Nostrand interviews musician Duane Carleton, whose new CD 'A GIRL LIKE THAT' drops Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, and will be celebrated that evening with a show at 9:30 p.m. at Killington's Pickle Barrel.