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Ithaca man pleads guilty to manslaughter in shooting case

A 41-year-old man from Ithaca pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree on Thursday afternoon in connection with the death of Alan Godfrey in July 2021.

William L. Marshall appeared in court after being indicted and arrested in March 2022. The victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds on July 20th, 2021, and police said at the time that they believed he was specifically targeted, and that the attack was not a random act of violence.

“The Ithaca Police Department’s Investigations Division, assisted by the New York State Police Major Crimes Unit, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division, and the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office, collected and reviewed an unprecedented amount of evidence and information that led to the Grand Jury Indictment and subsequent arrest of William Marshall,” the police said in a statement last March.

“Marshall admitted to intentionally causing the death of Alan Godfrey on July 20, 2021, at 206 Taughannock Boulevard in the City of Ithaca,” according to a statement Thursday from the District Attorney’s office.

“Marshall is currently serving a 33-month sentence from a 2022 conviction in federal court for possession of a firearm by a prior convicted felon. He will remain incarcerated in the Tompkins County Jail pending sentencing.”

The maximum legal sentence for Manslaughter in the First Degree is 25 years in state prison, and a mandatory term of post-release supervision of between 2.5 and 5 years will be imposed after Marshall completes his prison sentence.

“In pleading guilty today, the defendant accepted responsibility and will be held accountable for taking Alan’s life. This resolution will also spare Alan’s family from an extremely traumatic and upsetting trial,” Van Houten adds.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The prosecution will be seeking the maximum sentence, 25 years plus 5 years of post-release supervision. Marshall was required to waive his right to appeal.

According to the DA’s statement, a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 13th and 14th, 2023, before Tompkins County Judge Joseph R. Cassidy. Marshall was represented by attorneys Raymond Schlather and Jacob McNamara of the Ithaca law firm of Schlather, Stumbar, Parks & Salk, LLP.