Edinburg man said he was drunk when he shot DPS trooper 

Victor Godinez listens to his defense attorney O. Rene Flores during a break in proceeding as he stands trial for the death of Texas State Trooper Moises Sanchez in the 389th state District Court on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])
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By FRANCISCO JIMENEZ and XAVIER ALVAREZ | STAFF WRITERS

EDINBURG — “First of all, I was drunk.”

That was the first thing 28-year-old Edinburg resident Victor Alejandro Godinez told investigators after he was arrested for shooting Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez on April 6, 2019.

In the second week of his trial over Sanchez’s death, jurors on Tuesday afternoon watched the interrogation video following his arrest.

Sanchez died months later in Houston following a surgery.

Godinez is charged with capital murder of a police officer for his death and two counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer for shooting at two Edinburg officers involved in his manhunt.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.

That video lasted over an hour and shows Godinez, who at times claimed he couldn’t remember parts of the night and was wearing a hospital gown, telling Texas Rangers that he was drunk and scared. 

There has been conflicting testimony as to whether Godinez was grazed by a bullet or was hit by a bullet.

The interrogation was recorded at 11 a.m. on April 7, 2019.

The shooting happened following a car crash in Edinburg at the intersection of Freddy Gonzalez and 10th Street. Godinez fled the scene.

During the interrogation, he said he had been drinking with friends all day and was on his way to a smoke shop in the area. He also mentioned that he had just gotten a new job and denied any drug use.

When asked why he shot Sanchez, Godinez said “I just got scared. I was drunk, too.”

When asked again, he said “I felt like that was it for me.”

He said he felt “stupid” when investigators wanted to know how the shooting made him feel.

As for shooting at the two other officers, Godinez said “I kind of figured they were going to shoot me on sight because of what I already did.”

When asked again, he said “They could have hit me. They should have hit me.”

He also says in the interrogation that he pulled out his gun before Sanchez did and confessed to knowing the two officers he shot at were police.

“At that time, I already had messed up,” Godinez says in the video.

It was during that interview that the investigators informed Godinez that the death penalty is an option in the case.

“I f—– up,” Godinez replied. “I wish I could take it back, but it’s too late now.”

Victor Godinez walks handcuffed, hidden under his coat, an escorted by Hidalgo County sheriff deputies and corrections officers as he leaves the courtroom at the end of the day as he stands trial for the death of Texas State Trooper Moises Sanchez in the 389th state District Court on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

On Tuesday morning, Texas Rangers Roberto Montalvo Jr. and Elias Escalon presented evidence they had collected.

Montalvo testified to the bullet fragments found inside Sanchez’s SUV unit and how the driver side mirror had a hole in it as well as the cover, which fell off following the shooting.

Escalon, who is also the evidence custodian at DPS, presented a box full of evidence which also contained Sanchez’s issued duty belt.

He testified that the taser issued to Sanchez had a hole in it as well, along with its holster.

Escalon stated it was found with the wires hanging out and when the hole was noticed, the taser was forced open in order to collect more bullet fragments from the inside.

Thus far, the trial has been marked by dramatic dash and body cam footage of the shooting and manhunt for Godinez that night. His widow also presented emotional testimony.

The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday morning.


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