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4 inmates on the run after Okla. jail escape

One of the escaped inmates once bragged to a neighbor that police would never figure out that he shot his brother-in-law


By Graham Lee Brewer
The Oklahoman

CHANDLER, Okla. — The murder suspect wanted after escaping from the Lincoln County jail Monday once bragged to a neighbor that police would never figure out that he shot his brother-in-law, court documents show.

Jeremy Irvin, 32, was one of four men who escaped the jail through the jail's ventilation system. Irvin told the neighbor he chased his brother-in-law, Robert Godwin, down a lonely country road and shot him four times in the back.

“(The neighbor) said Jeremy told her they killed him down the road from a drug dealer’s house so they would think the drug dealers did it," prosecutors wrote in an affidavit. 

Through detailed court documents, investigators outline family tensions that festered between Irvin, his sister, Jasmine Godwin, and her husband, Robert Godwin Jr., for several years. Although Jasmine Godwin described her husband and Irvin as close as brothers, Irvin was reportedly angry with Robert Godwin for mistreating his sister. 

Jasmine and Robert Godwin met in 2005, when she was 15, she told investigators. They married in 2009 and had four children. But in 2015, after what she described in her request as a physically and verbally abusive relationship, she filed for an emergency protective order. Jasmine Godwin was awarded a five year protective order against her husband, court documents show. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services also stepped in that year, taking the couples four children. 

Witnesses told investigators that over the month of June and July, Irvin asked a friend to borrow a gun because he had "someone to take care of," the affidavit states. 

“Tired of the crap from someone," one witness said Irvin texted him when asking to borrow a gun. "It’s that time.”

Irvin and his brother-in-law spent a lot of time together, family and friends told investigators, and they often went noodling for fish in rural parts of the state. But, in a conversation just before Godwin's death, one witness said Irvin described a recent noodling trip with his brother-in-law in which he said "he just wanted to put (Godwin) in a hole."

On July 14, on a desolate country road in Lincoln County, police found Robert Godwin's body near his abandoned truck. He had four bullet wounds in his back, shoulder, buttocks and the back of his head. Authorities found a trail of .22-caliber bullets behind him, and on a barbed-wire fence pieces of his torn shirt. 

“It should be noted Godwin’s body and his vehicle were located on a desolate road rarely used by motorists,” investigators wrote in their report. 

Police interviewed Irvin at the district attorneys office and shared texts with him showing he had been asking to borrow a friend's gun.

“I know this looks bad but I didn’t shoot Godwin,” Irvin said, according to the affidavit. At this point in the interview, investigators said Irvin's hands and legs began to shake, and he leaves, telling police "I’m not going to prison for no one.”

Soon after, in August, Irvin told a neighbor he shot Robert Godwin, but he didn't think police would catch him. He also told her that he destroyed and buried the murder weapon, a .22-caliber rifle. 

©2017 The Oklahoman 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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