Rowan detective shows jurors electrical cord used to kill Sheila Godfrey

Published 8:21 pm Monday, April 8, 2019

SALISBURY — Donning black latex gloves, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chad Moose walked in front of jurors Monday and showed them the electrical cord that was wrapped around Sheila Godfrey’s neck.

Moose, a veteran law enforcement officer, testified during the murder trial of Donald Frye, who investigators said beat and strangled the 53-year-old grandmother. Godfrey’s body was found on April 28, 2017, lying face down on the kitchen floor of her Lyerly Pond Road home.

Donna Brooks, Godfrey’s younger sister, began to cry as the detective showed the black cord to the jury.

Testimony from investigators and acquaintances of Frye has shown that he was dropped off near Godfrey’s home the evening of April 27.

Sarah Wetter testified that she initially believed Frye went to meet a woman because he took two porn DVDs from his father’s pornography store and personal lubricant. When he contacted Wetter and asked her to pick him up, Frye told her a male friend had let him borrow his vehicle, but it ran out of gas.

Braden Lawing, who is incarcerated, testified last week that he saw Frye with a lockbox that contained paperwork with the name Godfrey on it. He took some of the contents out of it and tossed the box into Kannapolis Lake, he said.

Moose said a dive team searched for the lockbox, but it was never found.

Both Wetter and Lawing said they would get high with Frye, mostly using crack cocaine.

One of Godfrey’s neighbors told the court she believed a man who could’ve been Frye sat on Godfrey’s front porch a few weeks before her death.

Godfrey was supposed to watch her grandchildren on April 28, but when daughter Jessica Lind had not heard from her mother, she became worried. Lind went to her mother’s home, accompanied by her husband, Jacob, and a friend, Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent Jerry Dean.

The Linds found Godfrey’s car on their way to her home. They called the police to file a missing-person report.

Moose said he interviewed Wetter and she initially lied to him, giving the fake name of Terry Smith. She thought there was a drug raid, Moose said. Wetter eventually told Moose the truth.

Sheriff’s Detective Ollie Greene said he was one of three Rowan County investigators who went into the Lyerly Pond Road home. He noted there was damage to the front door. Other witnesses have testified that it appeared to be the result of someone kicking in the door.

Once he saw Sheila Godfrey and determined there was no one else in the house, Greene said he and the other three backed out.

The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. today.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.