Man Faces Murder Charge as Police Bullet Kills Bystander

Suspect Kody Roach was also shot at Florida bar
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2014 4:54 PM CDT
Man Faces Murder Charge as Police Bullet Kills Bystander
Kody Roach in a police mugshot.   (Orange County Jail)

A Florida man faces murder charges after an innocent bystander was shot to death inside a bar. The unusual thing about the case is that he never fired a single shot—the bullet came from a police officer's gun, reports WESH-TV. But authorities hold 23-year-old Kody Roach responsible for the woman's death because they say his actions forced police to open fire. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the shooting took place in August when police responded to reports of a man waving around a gun at an Orlando bar. When officers arrived, they say Roach refused their orders to get on the ground and began reaching for his waistband. Officer Eduardo Sanguino fired nine times, hitting not only Roach but bystander Maria Fernanda Godinez, 22, who was killed.

Roach did indeed have a gun, though authorities later determined that it was unloaded. Another officer had tried to zap him with a stun gun prior to the shooting, but it didn't work, apparently because of Roach's loose clothing, say police. Roach got shot several times and was hospitalized for weeks, but he appeared in court today in a wheelchair for the first time since the shooting. Though his attorney says police were "overzealous," the judge ordered Roach to be held without bail. The state's Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. (More Kody Roach stories.)

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