UTAH STATE PRISON — A man who hit and killed a jogger in 2013 while driving with methamphetamine in his system is seeking parole.
On March 7, 2013, Ashton Lee Godfrey, 25, of Holladay, was driving about 7 a.m. along 1100 East near 3850 South, when he hit and killed Larry Madison, 64. Godfrey's blood tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, charges state. Investigators found pipes, methamphetamine, psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, alcohol, a loaded firearm, three knives and drug distribution items in his van.
In 2015, Godfrey was convicted of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, plus drug possession and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, third-degree felonies. He was sentenced to one to 15 years at the Utah State Prison.
During a parole hearing held earlier this month, Godfrey told Utah Board of Pardons and Parole hearing officer Curtis Gardner that he had been awake for several days leading up to the collision due to meth use. He said he doesn't remember veering into Madison.
"Honestly, I had remembered being in my lane, and just striking him, So, at first, I truly believed that I was in my lane during the entire occurrence. But later, after seeing the facts, I realized I must have fallen asleep, because I was not where I believed I was at the time,” he said in a recording of the March 13 hearing.
In an interview with the Deseret News in 2013, Madison's family said they wanted Godfrey to take responsiblity for what he had done.
At the parole hearing, Gardner said that the family had submitted several letters to the board saying they are still "deeply upset" by what happened. Madison's widow is still attending grief counseling.
But Gardner also noted that Madison's family opted not to attend Godfrey's parole hearing, telling the board instead that they "just want to move on with their lives at this point."
Godfrey had a very minimal criminal history prior to the crash. When asked what happened, he told the board it came down to one thing.
"What led me to this instance was just drug use. As terrible as it sounds, I never really realized the impact I could have on other people. I always just figured I was harming myself with the things I was doing,” Godfrey said.
Since 2016, Gardner noted that Godfrey had been a "well-behaved" inmate with no write-ups who has participated in many life classes. Godfrey said he has done his best to change his behavior since being incarcerated.
"In the future, I’m not going to make these mistakes again,” he said.
The full five-member board is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks whether to grant parole.