Man who killed houseguest with hatchet pleads guilty

Joshua Matthew McCoy

Joshua Matthew McCoy

KINGMAN – The man who used a hatchet to kill a houseguest in Kingman has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Joshua Matthew McCoy, 29, pleaded guilty to killing Gregory Thomas Godsil after the two men got into a fight at McCoy’s Prescott Street home in July of 2015.

Godsil was allowed to stay at the home with McCoy and McCoy’s girlfriend after he was evicted from a local homeless shelter.

The girlfriend called Kingman Police officers after she discovered McCoy attempting to bury Godsil in the backyard. Godsil’s body was wrapped in plastic and in the garage when police arrived.

But Robin Puchek, McCoy’s public defender, argued in court last fall that McCoy acted in self-defense. He said Godsil was known to be “a man of a combative nature,” and was described by witness as “ornery.”

Originally charged with first-degree murder, McCoy struck a deal to plead to second-degree murder. Judge Billy Sipe will sentence him March 9. The plea agreement calls for Sipe to hand down a 13-year prison term. The maximum sentence is 25 years.

Prosecutor Jacob Cote also took off the table a charge of concealment or abandonment of a body.

While it was never clear what led up to the deadly encounter, Puchek challenged the state’s contention that McCoy struck Godsil with a hatchet while Godsil was laying down. Puchek said Godsil confronted McCoy. He also said there was conflicting medical evidence.