First Of Six Defendants Found Guilty In Execution-Style Killings Of Three College Students

- By Bossip Staff

Rodolfo Godinez was convicted today in the killing of three college students in the high-profile schoolyard slayings nearly three years ago.

The jurors announced they had reached a verdict shortly after 10 a.m. The eight women and four men reconvened today after roughly three hours of deliberations Thursday.

Shalga Hightower, mother of victim Iofemi Hightower, spoke today about the verdict outside the courthouse while holding a 2005 prom photo of her daughter.

“Justice is done for my angel and her friends,” Hightower said. “It doesn’t take away the pain, but justice was served.”
Shalga Hightower said she planned to attend the trials of the other defendants. “That’s one down, five more to go,” she said.

Three college-bound students were lined up against a wall and shot in the head that night. Iofemi Hightower and Dashon Harvey, both 20, and Terrance Aeriel, 18, all died. Terrance’s sister, Natasha Aeriel, then 19, was shot but survived.

Godinez, 26, is one of six defendants charged in connection with the Aug. 4, 2007, triple killing. He was convicted on all 17 counts including murder, felony murder, attempted murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and weapons charges related to possession of a machete and a handgun.

His sentencing is scheduled for July 8.

During the four-week trial, Essex County assistant prosecutors Thomas McTigue and Romesh Sukhdeo called 26 witnesses to the stand, including Natasha Aeriel, now 22. More than 400 pieces of evidence were introduced during 11 days of testimony.
Roy Greenman, Godinez’s attorney, had argued that his client was a helpless witness to the killings and played no active role. Greenman said he was disappointed in the verdict.

“(Godinez) is aware that an appeal will be filed on his behalf,” Greenman said.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims.

This has to be bittersweet for them — they still have five more trials to endure and there is nothing that will ever replace there loved ones.

May they Rest In Peace


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  • Get Real

    He should get the death penalty, him and the others. Let’s Get Real.

    They should also deny him some food. Porker is enjoyn the grub a little too much, and he doesn’t deserve even that.

    Gov’t should give them just enough sustanance to survive, and put a big Bubba lifer in the same cell to take care of him every night.


    Good for his f*ckin’ a$$! Terrance “T.J.” was my little sister’s friend, and it ’bout KILLED me when I found out they murdered him. He had such a bright future. God was lookin’ out for my little sis, cause she decided not to go hangin’ with them that night. R.I.P.

    Killin’ part is, two of these m*thaf*ckas weren’t even in this country legally!

  • We "Blacks" Are The REAL Hebrew Israelites

    Once again I wonder to myself, “Why did Yah stop smiting fools”?

    This man is a depraved animal.

    @The Smokin’ Section

    I am so sorry to hear that, I can’t even imagine the hurt and anger their families must be feeling.

  • Get Real

    @ The Smokin’ Section
    That’s terrible, I’m sorry to hear that.
    Another reason why, while profiling is wrong, I’m not all that mad at the attention the Arizona law is getting. While i think it’s radical, I believe it’s a Federal issue, and hopefully–hopefully–the gov’t will take some issue when Arizona can’t make it work…

    Anyone who can kill anyone else execution style, deserves to die in like manner. Period.

  • BayouSwampMan

    Good. Hope all of ’em get the maximum penalty allowed with no chance of parole. You never know what one of these kids could’ve become…..


    @ We Blacks

    Thanks, sweetheart. Yeah, the whole community was hurt over it. The families are doin’ the best they can…gettin’ on with life. We blacks are resilient that way. Anyway, I’m with that whole smite down thing…just get got right then, shyt!


    @ Get Real

    Thanks, hun. I don’t like the Arizona law either, because they’ll use that to find an excuse to start profiling everybody. But SOMETHING needs to be done about the illegals, especially when they bring they a$$ over here wreckin’ havoc!

  • phatcakes

    I don’t feel sorry for him or the other dummies involved in this case. You will NEVER know the sorrow that you have caused. ENJOY the good life in jail. BUBBA and his friend are going to have a “OPEN HOUSE” on that tail. That stupid look on your face will turn TRUST. The pain you feel will NEVER equal the pain you have caused to the families of these oung people. I’m GLAD you will never be able to have a family except for the “beenie baby” in your jail house blanket. ENJOY shrubbing drawers and the clapping of your flesh….You wanted to be in a gang…WELL…YOU’VE MADE…THE CHAIN GANG!

  • phatcakes

    I send my love and support to the families. HOLD STRONG!
    A long long hard life sentence is justified. Death comes too quick. EVERYDAY he will reflect what he was involved in. And maybe when he’s a old old man he will understand that he took away some SPECIAL YOUNG PEOPLE….MAYBE!
    BUT until then……LIVE LIFE DIE SLOW MFer!


    And their dumba$$es, fortunately, didn’t bank on his sister makin’ it out alive…thought they killed her. She ID’ed all their a$$es…what the hell they get. Shyt is makin’ me mad all over again!

  • p

    so so sorry that this situation happened…

    @ Get Real,
    this really gives the Az law for immigration more fuel to the fire…


    Appreciate that, P.

  • phatcakes

    I feel your pain…such a GREAT LOST..

  • Buttacupp



    Thanks, phatcakes. Great loss indeed…he was a really good kid. And I’m not sayin’ it just cause it’s the thing to say…he really was a diamond in the rough. All he wanted to do was preach and play music…bless his heart

  • Ming

    Look at that illegal alien gorilla. Dumb azz can’t even understand English and they wonder why white folks want to run them out of the country.

  • Dcgal

    Fry this price of Mexitrash

  • always knew

    First, I would like to express my condolences for all those who were affected by or lost a loved one, due to senseless violence..

    Second, I would like to thank all Americans who stand behind SB 1070, this senseless random violence affects everyone and I am glad that other states are FINALLY paying attention..

    God bless… R.I.P…


  • Deron

    If you look real close, dude looks like Samoa Joe from TNA Wrestling. Other than that, this guy deserves to be put in his place.

  • super goon one

    Black people do the same thing to each all the time. The biggest killer of black men is black men.

  • We "Blacks" Are The REAL Hebrew Israelites

    The fact that black people do it does not make this man any less culpable.
    Why even bring that up? For what reason? What the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China in relation to this story? Yes Blacks kill blacks and asians kill asians and whites kill whites and papua new guineans kill papua new guineans and so on and so forth. That has nothing to do with the fact that 3 innocent young adults were gunned down execution style in the prime of their lives. Please tell me why you felt the need to insert that very uninteresting and played bit of information.

    *confused as hell*

  • How come you can't think

    Illegal Alien Gorilla- that comment was on point.

  • lily

    My prayers, sympathy and condolences to all family members and friends of these three beautiful young people. I only hope this endomorphic POS suffers every day for the rest of his miserable life…..

  • OhLALA

    Good for him!!! This story still bothers me but why is he wearing headphones??

  • WestKoast

    This makes me feel good. But I know it’s not over yet…more trials to come. I’m friends with the survivor, Tasha. Other than this, she has something else to be happy about.

    She just graduated from college. 🙂

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