Husband shoots wife, DA rules it accidental: Problem Solvers Investigation

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- It's rare when police and prosecutors don't agree on criminal charges but what happened in Castle Rock last summer was also very rare.

A late-night shooting in the 600 block of Howe Street on July 28 left Stacy Washa with a gunshot wound to her abdomen.  The gunman was her husband, Wayne Godsey.

"Dude, I'm so scared right now, it's not even funny," was what Godsey can be seen on body-cam telling an officer on the scene,  explaining he mistook his wife for a burglar in the dark and fired his nine mm handgun.

The couple had been getting ready for bed just minutes earlier when they mistook fireworks outside for gunfire. "I started hearing a noise. It's a loud, I mean it's a loud banging noise. I mean to me, I know guns, I have them and that's what I heard," explained Godsey to an officer after his wife was rushed to Sky Ridge Medical Center.

Godsey told officers he asked his wife to stay upstairs while he grabbed his gun and went downstairs to investigate the mysterious noise while their three children under the age of 12 were asleep in their bedrooms.

"You didn't hear her come downstairs?" asked an officer.  "No, I didn't hear her, feel her, see her nothing," said Godsey, before adding, "I see movement, flip the light on. Realize someone is in front of me and pulled the trigger. "

Godsey immediately regretted what he did when he realized the "someone" he shot was his own wife.

It turns out Stacy Washa had come downstairs in the dark, unbeknownst to her husband.

"What do I say to her?" is what Godsey can be seen on body-cam asking a Castle Rock Police Officer after he reached the hospital. "I wish I knew where to start comprehending it," added Godsey.

About a week later Castle Rock detectives would submit an arrest affidavit for Godsey, seeking to book him with Second Degree Assault.

The detective wrote in the affidavit Godsey's conduct "appears to be a gross deviation from what a reasonable person would do and in fact did result in serious bodily injury" to his wife.

But prosecutors for the 18th Judicial District did their own investigation and ultimately declined to press charges.

Read full affidavit below

"Your gut reaction is spouse shoots spouse somebody's got to have committed a crime," admitted George Brauchler, the District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District.

But Brauchler said this case proved to me more complicated and nuanced. "Immediately when he realized the mistake he called 9-1-1," said Brauchler, pointing out most crimes have a motive. "There was no prior argument or dispute. And we have this 'Make My Day Law.'"

Colorado's 'Make My Day Law' allows homeowners to generally shoot anyone who they reasonably think broke into their home.

"Wife herself said this was an accident. We had no evidence of any wrongdoing," said Braucher, who noted just because the facts of this case show Godsey didn't shoot a burgler doesn't mean his behavior was criminal.

"I mean, had it been a bad guy, had it been a burglar, had it been someone who slipped in through the garage, we'd be saying 'hero'. Hero just saved his wife and others by taking down a bad guy," said Brauchler.

Wayne Godsey and Stacy Washa declined to comment to FOX31 for this story but according to investigative  reports obtained by the Problem Solvers she made a full recovery from her injury.

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