ITHACA, N.Y.—After eight months of mostly silence from law enforcement, Tompkins County District Attorney Matt Van Houten announced the indictment of William L. Marshall in the killing of Alan Godfrey in July 2021.

Marshall appeared in Tompkins County Court before Judge Joseph Cassidy on Thursday, March 10, and pled not guilty to the charges.

His trial is scheduled to commence in August. He is being held without bail on charges of second-degree murder, second degree criminal possession of a weapon and third degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Marshall’s attorney, Jake McNamara, asked for a lighter bail recommendation considering Marshall’s work with formerly incarcerated people coming back into society, but Cassidy ordered him to be remanded. Ithaca attorney Ray Schlather is also representing Marshall. Assistant District Attorney Andrew Bonavia is handling the case for the DA’s office.

Godfrey was shot and killed on July 20, 2021, just after midnight at 206 Taughannock Boulevard. At the time, police didn’t release a motive but did say they believed Godfrey was specifically targeted, meaning the crime was not random.

The crime was Ithaca’s lone homicide in 2021. Police remained largely mum on the subsequent investigation’s progress, aside from some outreach for potential witnesses and bringing in state police to help further analyze the crime scene, though that took place three months after the shooting.

Marshall, 40, was recently in the news for pleading guilty to federal drug and gun charges. He will be sentenced for those charges on June 8, and is facing up to 10 years in prison for possessing a gun as a felon and up to five years for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute (though Bonavia mentioned in court Thursday that Marshall is expected to be sentenced to 27-34 months on those charges). He was silent during the proceedings, and appeared in an orange jumpsuit from a correctional facility.

Godfrey was fondly remembered by his family and the community in the wake of his death. He had worked at Southside Community Center and the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and was a well-reputed chef among family members.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com