LIMA — A Lima man charged with murder in a shooting last summer at the Gas Station Bar in Lima that left Davohn Godsey dead was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison.
DeArin Thomas, 25, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony that carried with it a firearm specification that added a mandatory three-year prison sentence to the total. He will be eligible to seek an early release after serving 8 1/2 years behind bars.
Thomas was indicted by an Allen County grand jury on two counts of murder with firearm specifications, unclassified felonies, and one count of felonious assault with a firearm specification, a second-degree felony, in connection with the July 5, 2017 shooting death of Godsey at the downtown Lima bar, located at 126 E. North St.
Last month, he accepted a negotiated deal with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to an amended charge of involuntary manslaughter with a three-year firearm specification. In exchange for that plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining charges.
Davohn Godsey was one of two men shot at the downtown Lima bar on that July evening. Godsey’s cousin, Marlon Godsey, also suffered a gunshot wound in the incident. He was treated and released from a local hospital following the shooting.
Marlon Godsey told investigators he was at the bar with his cousin on the night in question when a man later identified as Thomas “bumped into” Davohn. An argument ensued and Davohn Godsey reportedly struck Thomas in the face and knocked him backward. Thomas got off the floor and came at Godsey, and then “shots rang out,” Marlon Godsey told police.
A second witness told police that Thomas shot Godsey and then “tucked the gun in the waistband of his pants and walked out the door” of the bar, according to court documents.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, the court heard from Davohn Godsey’s daughter and mother. The younger woman, the oldest of Godsey’s four children, said she “just want everyone to know how good our dad was to us” and told Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed she simply wanted “justice for my dad.”
Godsey’s mother fought back tears, telling Reed that “I pray he (Thomas) pays for killing my baby; please give him life.”
Thomas apologized to Godsey’s family prior to sentencing.
Reed said the case resembled “a bad video that keeps playing in our community. When you make a decision that you’re going to use guns, there is no taking it back. It never ends, it seems,” the judge lamented.