By Justin Cohen, Staff Writer
Posted 10;00 PM EST, Fri., Apr. 21, 2017
An elderly man was murdered on the morning of Easter Sunday by a man who appeared to want to send a message to his ex-girlfriend through his social media account. The grisly murder was streamed to Facebook Live.
Robert Godwin, Sr., a retired foundry worker, was out on the side of the road collecting cans, as he often does, when an unknown man approached him. The man was later confirmed to be 37-year-old Steve Stephens, who had never before met the victim.
Before the trigger was pulled, assailant Stephens had 74-year-old Godwin repeat the name ‘Joy Lane’. Stephens stated that she was the reason Godwin was killed that morning. On the stream, Stephens can be heard saying, “That motherf–ker dead ’cause of you, Joy.”
It was pure chance that Godwin was chosen for the remorseless crime. Apparently, Stephens’ only objective was to send message to someone who may see the video. However, the crime was not simply enacted on a whim and Stephens seemed to have been planning it for a while now. He allegedly told his mother, “If you see me again, it’ll be a miracle,” as she quoted him saying.
Stephens kept true to his word as he had not been seen since he committed the murder, but ultimately committed suicide in Erie County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday after a three-day nationwide manhunt.
When asked about the video streamed on Facebook, a spokesperson said in a statement, “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”
Godwin Sr. is survived by nine children and 13 grandchildren.