Arrest made in Wood Grill murder
Albemarle County police have finally made an arrest in the April 2007 murder of 48-year old William "Billy" Godsey outside the Wood Grill Buffet. According to Albemarle County police, Godsey and his wife, Sandy, a night manager at the restaurant were walking across the parking lot at approximately 1:30 on the morning of April 12 when two men wearing ski masks approached the couple, knocked Sandra to the ground and beat Billy in the head and body with a blunt instrument. On April 24, almost two weeks after the attack, Billy Godsey died of his injuries at UVA medical center, becoming Albemarle's first homicide of 2007.
Police have arrested Albemarle County resident Roderick McDowell, 25, and charged him with the first degree murder and robbery. McDowell, police say, is already serving time in jail for robbery. Police are also still trying to track down the other assailant. McDowell will appear in the Albemarle County Circuit Court February 12.
The murder highlighted the risks of allowing restaurant employees to handle cash; night manager Sandra Godsey, accompanied by her husband, was reportedly leaving work in the wee hours with the day's cash proceeds. After the murder, Wood Grill management began hiring an armored car to retrieve the cash rather than putting other employees at risk.
"I would never allow my people at any time to carry money after the store closes unless they had some type of security," Tony LaBua, owner of Chap's Ice Cream on the Downtown Mall, told the Hook after the murder.
In the past 22 years, Chap's has been robbed twice, said LaBua, who said he has different employees do money drops at random times during the day to prevent targeting by would-be thieves.
Anyone with information regarding the on-going investigation should contact Detective Charles Woycik at (434) 296-5807 or Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000.