The family of a man killed in a video live-streamed to Facebook has asked the murderer to turn himself in, but also extended forgiveness to him.
In an interview with CNN, the Godwin family spoke with CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper about the tragic death of Robert Godwin Sr.
Godwin’s murder was streamed live on Facebook by the killer, Steve Stephens, who murdered the 74-year-old Godwin in Cleveland, Ohio on Easter Sunday.
Police are currently searching for Stephens and have warned residents in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Michigan to be on the lookout for him.
In the interview, Cooper asked the Godwin family what they would say to Stephens if given the chance to speak to him.
“I would say turn yourself in, that would be number one,” said Debbie Godwin, Robert Godwin’s daughter. “I mean because although I do believe in forgiveness, I do believe in the law, meaning, when you break the law, there’s a penalty for breaking the law. And this man broke the law by taking my father’s life.”
She continued: “And so although I forgive him, there is still a penalty that he must pay for what he did to my dad. And so I would want him to turn himself in. And you know what, I believe that God would give me the grace to even embrace this man. And hug him.”
Not only did Debbie Godwin extend forgiveness to her father’s killer, but, with other family members nodding their heads in agreement, she said she also wants Stephens to know that despite what he did, there is hope for him if he turns to God.
“And so, I just would want him to know that even in his worst state, he’s loved, you know, by God, that God loves him, even in the bad stuff that he did to my dad. That he’s still loved. And that he has some worth while, even though he’s gonna have to go through many things to get better, there’s worth in him.”