Fayette County inmate's bids for dismissal of homicide charge rejected by judge
By Liz Zemba
Published: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
A Fayette County jail inmate whose own words were used to show he knew his phone conversations were monitored has lost bids to have statements suppressed and a homicide charge dismissed.
Jonathan Keith Godines, 36, of Brownsville is accused of homicide in the Dec. 1, 2011, death of John Eicholtz, 75.
Brownsville police allege Godines beat Eicholtz on Nov. 15, 2011, outside the Brownsville House apartments on High Street as Eicholtz was delivering cigarettes to a tenant. Eicholtz was taken to UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh, where he remained in a coma until he died, police said.
In a pretrial motion, Godines asked Judge Gerald R. Solomon to exclude from trial statements he made in phone calls from the jail. Godines claimed he did not knowingly waive his right to self-incrimination. In addition, Godines wanted the homicide charge thrown out for lack of evidence.
In denying both requests, Solomon noted that Godines signed a prison form advising him that his calls were monitored. In addition, he was warned of monitoring via a recorded message at the start of all phone calls.
In an opinion and order, Solomon pointed out that Godines acknowledged he was aware that his calls were monitored during a phone conversation that was recorded at the jail.
“During the call, defendant even acknowledged that his phone call was being monitored, stating, ‘Deputy Warden Croftcheck. I just told him good morning. That's who monitors my calls. Checks to see if I incriminate myself,'” Solomon wrote.
Solomon wrote that any incriminating statements Godines may have made in other calls from the jail are admissible because Godines was not being “interrogated” by police at the time, meaning he did not have to be given his Miranda warnings.
In one of the calls, which prosecutors played during a Sept. 25 hearing before Solomon, Godines tells an unidentified woman that she is at fault for his predicament.
“I am facing the rest of my (expletive) life because I got to be a jealous (expletive) rage because you want to be a (expletive) trick,” Godines told the woman during the phone call. “It is my (expletive) fault because I can't control my (expletive) jealous (expletive) rage. It is your fault for being a (expletive) trick.”
Solomon denied the request to dismiss the homicide charge, noting that not only did Godines tell police that he kicked and punched Eicholtz, but several witnesses testified that they saw Godines beating Eicholtz.
Godines remains in the county jail without bail, pending trial.
Liz Zemba is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Marchers demand a vote on new Fayette jail
- Connellsville Municipal Authority to explain DEP rules for customers
- Evanced Solutions coming to Carnegie Free Library
- Frazier High performers hear a Who!
- Upper Tyrone residents asked for input on cleanup
- Rural King farm supply store confirms move to Laurel Mall
- Connellsville junior ROTC program a training ground
- Geibel to present ‘42nd Street’ at State Theatre in Uniontown
- Dunbar moves forward with creek channeling project
- 2013 was a challenging year for Highlands Hospital
- Rural King Supply confirms store opening in Dunbar Township