A Florida father allegedly caused his son’s fatal injuries, worked to cover up the real nature of the attack, and traveled with the rest his family 1,000 miles north instead of immediately taking the boy to the hospital when he had the chance.
Jason Daniel Godleski, 33, faces a count each of aggravated manslaughter of a child, and failure to report a death, online records show.
The Palm Bay Police Department says Godleski reported his son dead on Oct. 22, but did not say how 12-year-old Noah Godleski died. The father said he knew he was going to jail but declined to speak without a lawyer, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by Law&Crime.
Police said they learned that Godleski’s girlfriend and their children were up in Connecticut. The woman, identified in documents as Samarial Dubose, has charges pending against her, police reportedly told Florida Today. Detectives traveled north, where they spoke with her. According to the affidavit, Dubose said the boy had been “misbehaving” five days earlier.
“For punishment, the Defendant forced the victim into the laundry [room] and where the victim remained for several days isolated from the rest of the family,” police wrote. Dubose allegedly saw Jason Godleski enter the laundry room on Oct. 17. She said he repeatedly yelled at the boy. She allegedly claimed to hear what sounded like the father severely beating the victim.
“The Defendant eventually exited the laundry room leaving the victim inside,” police said.
According to this account, Jason Godleski told his girlfriend on Oct. 20th that he was going to drive her and their three other children to Connecticut so she could be with her family to give her “a break from the victim.” Dubose allegedly said that a friend of Godleski’s was supposed to be babysitting the 12-year-old boy, but that friend allegedly said that he was never told to babysit the child and had no plans on going to their home.
Though Jason Godleski allegedly declined to speak to police without a lawyer, he allegedly admitted during a jailhouse phone call that he punished the boy and left him dead inside the home.
Cops said they spoke to the suspect’s mother. She allegedly said her son told her that his girlfriend woke him up on or about Oct. 16 or Oct. 17 because the Noah was throwing objects at her.
“The defendant made the statement that the victim was hit too hard in the face and back of head,” police wrote. “The defendant then advised the death of the victim was an accident.”
Jason Godleski allegedly insisted he did not intend to kill the child.
In this version of events, he and Dubose discussed taking him to the hospital and decided they would do so if he was not walking the next day.
“The defendant stated that the victim began to not be able to form complete sentences a few days after the battery,” cops wrote.
Godleski allegedly looked up concussion treatments on Google, and rehearsed a story with Dubose that they would tell investigators to “give the appearance of [the girlfriend’s] innocence. He was going to take the blame so she could take the remaining kids, and he indicated that she would wait for him until his release from jail,” police wrote.
Godleski allegedly said they used the boy’s hands to make it seem like he had self-inflicted wounds.
“It should be noted that there were injuries to both side of the victim’s face consistent with these remarks, however it was unknown if they were self-inflicted or postmortem,” police said. He allegedly said they would give Benadryl to the boy to make him sleep, and that he and his girlfriend coached the remaining kids about what to say to investigators about Noah.
He said that the boy was alive for days but was dead when they left, police wrote.
[Booking photo via Brevard County Sheriff’s Office]
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