The Cleveland man accused of murdering an elderly stranger randomly in a video posted to Facebook said in it that he “snapped because of a woman,” reports the Columbus Dispatch.
A massive manhunt is underway in Cleveland for Steve “Stevie Steve” Stephens, who is accused of randomly shooting the elderly man to death on Facebook. Facebook now says that Stephens did not use the Facebook Live streaming service but filmed and then posted the murder video to Facebook. Authorities fear he might be out of state.
Police have been talking to Stephens’ family and friends, reported the Columbus Dispatch. In addition to the former girlfriend Joy Lane – who is cooperating fully with law enforcement, they say – Stephens has blamed his mother for his behavior. His family has now deleted his tweets and posted that he has been disowned from the family.
The victim, Robert Godwin, left behind a large family of his own.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stephens’ Long Time Girlfriend Said She Was Sorry for What Happened but Called Stephens a ‘Nice Guy’
Stephens is accused of blaming a relationship for his social media rampage. According to CBS News, he randomly approached the victim “to say a woman’s name and pulls out his gun. The elderly man repeatedly tells the suspect he doesn’t know the woman — believed to be Stephens’ ex-wife — but the suspect pulls the trigger, shooting the man in the head, leaving him bloodied in the street.” However, it appears that the woman – Joy Lane – is Stephens’ long-time girlfriend, not his wife.
Lane broke her initial silence and told CBS News in a text message: “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). 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.”
Cleveland.com reports that police say Lane is cooperating with them.
Lane – who also went by the name Joy Carr on Facebook – wrote on the social platform, “This is the fastest way to update everybody. I am safe and with the police. I am Not okay… this is a lot. I can’t believe this is happening. I am very sad for everyone involved. I am praying for them and I am praying for Steve. He needs help.” She has since deleted her account.
According to her LinkedIn page, Lane has worked for the past nine months as a clinical supervisor for Murtis Taylor Human Services System. The site says she provides “guidance and leadership to a community based team of Therapists and CPST workers.”
In the Facebook video, Stephens talks about Lane. He says she “drove him crazy.” They were supposed to be married, he says, adding, “we are all human and we all have breaking points.”
Stephens claimed on Facebook that he had murdered other people on Easter Sunday, but police have found no evidence of that so far. The elderly man who was murdered on April 15 was identified as Robert Godwin, Sr. On Facebook, Stephens went by the name of “Stevie Steve.” There is a link to the video of the murder below at the end of this article. Be forewarned that it is very graphic.
Stephens was no stranger to firearms, and brandishing them on social media was something he freely did; he posted a series of other videos on Facebook that show him shooting guns. See above.
Read more about Lane here:
2. Stephens’ Mother Says She Told Her Son to ‘Stop’ but Stephens Blamed Her for the Murder Too
Stephens’ mother, Maggie Green, confirmed the domestic motive to the shooting in an interview with CNN.
She told CNN that “she had spoken to her son on Sunday and he told her he was ‘mad with his girlfriend. That’s why he is shooting people and he won’t stop until his mother or girlfriend tell him to stop.'”
Green told CNN that “she told her son to stop. She said she was upset and in disbelief.”
In addition to his girlfriend, Stephens tried to cast blame for his behavior on his mother.
Stephens said in the video that he went to talk to his mother to say he was feeling suicidal and homicidal but she didn’t seem to care and he blamed her in part for his actions.
“Didn’t care, it don’t matter, people would come to me with their problems, I would deal with my problems everyday,” Stephens says in the video. “But when it comes to my problems, nobody gives a f*ck. It’s like I’m always the bad guy, no matter what the f*ck I do, people always making it out on me…. Innocent people about to die today. Hopefully I’m going to try and kill as many people as I can and be on death row or whatever the case may be. I just don’t give a f*ck no more. I’m beat, I’m tired, you know.”
According to CNN, people who saw the Facebook video of the murder called police.
3. The Victim Had Just Had Easter Dinner With His Children & Was a Father of Nine
Godwin had just finished Easter dinner with his children when he was shot.
According to Cleveland.com, Godwin leaves behind a large and loving family. He was a father of nine and grandfather to 14, reported the Ohio newspaper. His son, Robert Godwin Jr., told Cleveland.com that he didn’t know Lane or Stephens and said he was too sickened to watch the horrific video.
Since police learned of the video, Cleveland has been on high alert as fearful residents watch out for the gunman, who was still at large on the evening of April 16. Police urged Stephens to turn himself in and widely broadcast his name in a press conference.
Read more about Godwin here:
4. Stephens’ Family Has Now Disowned Him & He Worked at a Facility for Children
A statement from Stephens’ family was posted to his Twitter page. It reads in part:
On behalf of the entire Stephens family, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Robert Godwin Sr., his family, and all of the victims’ families that have been affected by this tragedy. I have taken the liberty of deleting all of Steve’s tweets, as I do not want any pictures of our family to be associated with this murderer. We absolutely do not condone this type of behavior and this atrocity, therefore we do not consider Steve a part of this family.
The Twitter page and statement have now been deleted.
Stephens worked at a behavioral health facility that deals with children.
A spokesperson for Beech Brook, which is located in northeast Ohio, confirmed the employment to CNN. CNN said Beech Brook “serves children, teenagers and families, according to a spokeswoman for the facility.”
“We are shocked and horrified like everyone else,” said Nancy Kortemeyer, a spokeswoman for Beech Brook told CNN. “To think that one of our employees could do this is awful.” Stephens had mentioned the job in the video.
Lane also worked for 11 years as a case manager and therapist at Beech Brook, which also employed Stephens. Her LinkedIn page says she earned a master of science degree from Case Western Reserve University in Social Administration /Non Profit Management and received her bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University in sociology and criminal justice.
5. Stephens’ Former Classmate Expressed Shock at His Actions
Dawn Arrington graduated from a business school named Myers College with Stephens. She told Cleveland.com that she was shocked to learn he was the man sought by police and described herself as “heartbroken.”
“I’m texting and Facebook messaging people that I went to school with — the reaction is a collective ‘I can’t believe that’,” Arrington said to Cleveland.com. “I’m completely shocked. I’m heartbroken.”
Arrington said to Cleveland.com that Stephens in college was a “funny guy, always laughing and joking. It was all jokes and fun. He was a different kind of guy.”
You can watch the Facebook Live video of the murder here. Again be aware that it is very disturbing:
Stephens also discussed his motivations in other Facebook videos. You can watch those here:
Read more about Steve Stephens in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: