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 NewsMONTPELIER — The son and daughter of a Vermont World War I veteran received a Purple Heart at the... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Researchers find new species of hominid, the Denisovans, and follow genetic evidence that place them across a wide swath of the globe before extinction 40,000 years ago.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Proctor estate sale hits serious legal speed bump, Rutland Town wraps up solar project regulations, Patty Minichiello interviews visiting sculptor in West Rutland and Castleton Crackers honored with national award.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Tamerlane, in 1401 on this day, lays waste to Baghdad; 'Rock Around The Clock' hits No. 1 on Billboard chart in 1955, stays there for eight weeks.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Texas towns, shaken by earthquakes linked to fracking for gas and oil, are fed up and scared, want to ban the practice,
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Fracking linked to 100-fold increase in Oklahoma earthquakes.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Roswell: Weather balloon, invasion from outer space or primitive spy op? You decide. Francis Gary Powers faces the music on this day and it's Russian pop hits, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross born this day and the Mahatma eschews violence.