The horrific killing of an elderly man that was posted on Facebook Sunday has caught he attention of the entire nation, and has many locales in the northeast on lockdown.
Steve Stephens, 37, filmed himself approaching and then executing 74 year old Robert Godwin of Cleveland, Ohio in the afternoon of Easter Sunday 2017. Stephens claims to have just “snapped” after an experience with his long-time girlfriend. In the horrendous video, Stephens can be seen forcing Godwin to say the name of his estranged lover, Joy Lane. Once those fateful words were uttered, Stephens did the unthinkable. He has since been on the lam, with authorities believing that he could be as far away as Buffalo, NY or Erie, PA.
Now, nearly 24 hours later, Joy Lane has made a statement via text message to CBS News.
“’We had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened. My heart & prayers goes out to the family members of the victim(s),’ Lane messaged the news agency, according to The Shade Room. ‘Steve really is a nice guy… he is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children. This is a very difficult time for me and my family Please respect our privacy at this time.’
“Perhaps nobody is in shock more than Lane who responded in this manner as a result. She had been in this relationship for what was reportedly a long time and even had him around her children. All the while a little switch inside Stephens was there, that was set off by the breakup and could have been triggered by anything else along the way. However, since he’s still on the run and Robert Godwin Sr.’s family is mourning the brutal loss of their loved one, it almost feels like an insult to injury to be so complimentary of this psychopath.
“In his horrifying live murder video, Stephens is heard saying to Godwin, ‘She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you,’ before pointing a gun at the man and shooting him through the grocery bag Godwin instinctively tried to use as protection.”
The senseless killing has called into question, once again, Facebook’s ability to monitor the content being posted on its massive platform. With the site being free for all to use, and allowing video posts and “Facebook Live”, the world’s most popular social media website has been lambasted in recent months for features that equate to a broadcasting entity, yet with no oversight from the FCC or other regulatory authorities.
Were Facebook to be reclassified as a broadcaster, the legal ramifications surrounding their censorship initiatives could possibly be challenged legally – something that the ultraliberal website refuses to be involved with.
Steve Stephens remains at large as of this writing, and is believed to be traveling in a white, late model Ford Fusion with temporary Ohio tags. He is considered armed and dangerous.