ORLANDO, Fla. – A man charged with murder after an officer shot and killed a woman at an Orlando bar has accepted a plea deal and will serve five years in prison, including time served.
Kody Roach pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of carrying a concealed firearm. In exchange, the state is dropping a charge of second-degree murder against him.
Roach was charged with murder after an Orlando police officer fired several shots at him during a confrontation outside the Vixen Bar. One of the officer's bullets killed bystander Maria Godinez, 22.
"The agreed-upon sentence is adjudication of guilt: five years in the Department of Corrections, with credit (or) time served. However, that sentence is to run consecutive to any other sentences," Roach's defense said. "There is a dispute between how much credit (for) time served we believe Mr. Roach should deserve in this case and what the state believes he's entitled to."
Attorney Harvey V. Cohen later released a statement about the plea deal.
"Mr. Roach entered a plea to five years to the charge of carrying a concealed firearm. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the state of Florida agreed to dismiss the second-degree felony murder charge. We believe this to be a fair and just resolution given the facts of the case. Our client has maintained his innocence as to the now dismissed charge of felony murder outlined in count one. We hope the resolution of this case brings closure to all parties involved, including the family of Ms. Godinez."
Roach will officially be sentenced on May 10.
State attorney spokeswoman Eryka Washington said the deal was made because the state did not feel there was sufficient evidence to prove second-degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt. She said evidence would have had to show that Roach was reaching for his gun and resisting arrest when he may have been reaching for prongs from a stun gun used by police.
Police responded to Vixen Bar on South Orange Avenue on Aug. 19, 2014, after several people called 911 saying a man with a gun was trying to get inside.
Officer Eduardo Sanguino fired his service revolver nine times. Seven of those bullets struck Roach. A bullet hit Sanguino's boss, Lt. Frank Nunez, and another fatally struck Godinez.
Roach was originally charged with first-degree murder in Godinez's death but that was downgraded a few weeks after the shooting to second-degree murder since Roach was not directly responsible for the woman's death, police said.
Charge of 2nd degree murder against Roach will be dropped in exchange for no contest plea for concealed firearm. Sentencing 5/10 at 9am. pic.twitter.com/jB7qul5Rbo— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) April 27, 2017
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