Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Teen who hid murder weapon gets probation

Gun used in homicide; Raymond Godoy hindered prosecution

Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell sentenced Raymond Godoy on Tuesday to five years of intensive probation for hindering the prosecution of the man accused of killing teenager Derreck Burruss.

Godoy, 17, faced a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting but made a plea deal in mid-March. Fell could have sentenced Godoy to two to 8.75 years in prison.

Fell’s decision let Godoy leave jail Tuesday, after serving 469 days awaiting the outcome of his case.

Fell ordered Godoy to report to a probation officer Wednesday, to do 360 hours of community service, to undergo drug testing regularly and to refrain from alcohol and drug use.

Burruss, 16, was shot while walking with friends near Park Place mall after midnight Jan. 5, 2008.

Burruss’ mother, Lakia Culver, 35, was stunned that Godoy will not serve prison time.

She told Fell she opposed the deal Godoy made with the Pima County Attorney’s staff.

Before addressing the judge, Culver placed the urn containing Burruss’ cremated remains on the prosecutor’s table along with a photo album containing pictures of her dead son.

Culver told Fell, “I want peace for my family and I want justice for my son.”

Derreck was the oldest of her five children.

“I am literally scared to death I’m going to lose another child,” she said. “I don’t feel safe letting them out of my sight.”

And, she said, “I wake up some nights screaming because I miss him so much.”

Godoy admitted he hid the gun used to kill Burruss and didn’t tell police about it, but his attorney, Jill Thorpe, said he was a “follower” who has changed in his more than a year behind bars.

She asked for leniency, telling Fell it was not Godoy but Raymond Encinas who shot and killed Burruss.

Fell will sentence Encinas on May 26. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder in February.

Thorpe said Godoy simply stood by as the gun was fired, did not call 911 to report the shooting or get help for Burruss.

Thorpe said Godoy should have sought help for Burruss as he lay dying near a bus stop but didn’t. Even so, she said he deserved a chance to rebuild his life.

Fell agreed, telling Godoy, “You’re salvageable.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service