Orlando police drops first-degree murder charge in bar shooting

Police charge Kody Roach with second-degree murder

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The man who Orlando police claim forced one of their officers to open fire outside a downtown bar, killing a woman inside, no longer faces a first-degree murder charge.

According to his new arrest report, Kody Roach now faces a second-degree murder charge for the death of Maria Godinez and resisting arrest with violence.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 19 outside the Vixen Bar on S. Orange Ave.

Orlando police say several people called 911 to report Roach was outside the bar armed with a gun, and he was trying to get inside.

Investigators say when officers responded, Roach refused their commands to get down on the ground.  They say he instead reached for his waistband, forcing Officer Eduardo Sanguino to shoot his service revolver nine times.

One of the officer's bullets hit Godinez inside the bar. Another bullet hit Sanguino's boss, Lt. Frank Nunez.

Roach was hit seven times, and is still in the hospital recovering before he's transferred to the Orange County Jail.

"The Orlando Police Department conferred with the State Attorney's Office, and it was then determined that probable cause did not exist to charge the suspect with first degree felony murder, since Roach was not directly responsible for the victim's death," the report reads.

"The charge of attempted armed burglary was also removed, since it could not be determined with certainty which crime the defendant was intending to commit when he was attempting to regain entry into the Vixen Bar."

Local 6 legal analyst Luis Calderon thinks the right decision was made.

"Second degree murder (charge) is appropriate where another person (not the defendant) actually causes the death of the victim," Calderon said.

Sanguino and Officer Jeff Angel are still on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts its independent investigation of what happened outside the bar.

An FDLE spokeswoman says the investigation could take several more weeks.

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