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Man who killed Nakatani in Kirkland could face four years in jail

Nathan Godwin has two glasses of champagne, one “Adios Motherfucker” (a mix of five different hard liquors), one beer, smoked a blunt and took prescription Suboxone and Lexapro before getting behind the wheel of a Ford Excursion, driving 60 in a 35 and killing Bradley Nakatani while Nakatani was biking home from work.

This is according to a court document charging Godwin with one count of vehicular homicide and one count of reckless driving. He faces up to four years in prison if guilty. Godwin posted $500,000 bail a little over one day after the incident and was released.

The collision occurred as Nakatani was turning left from Northeast 124th Street onto Slater Avenue Northeast. The collision was so powerful Nakatani’s bike split in half.


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Godwin admitted that he thought he his someone on a bike, but kept driving until the passenger in the car told him to turn around, according to the document.

Nerds in Seattle also have a rundown of Godwin’s lengthy traffic ticket history.

Here is the document in it’s entirety (h/t Slog):

1323731179-Kcpo Charging Godwin


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28 responses to “Man who killed Nakatani in Kirkland could face four years in jail”

  1. RTK

    You’ve got to wonder how that “Adios Mother***er” will get worked in by the prosecutor. Got to be looking at that one like pure gold.
    Four years is way, way too little. I guess if you’re going to kill somebody do it with a motor vehicle.

  2. RTK

    Oh yeah, thanks for the Nerds link. This guy should have had his license removed long ago.

  3. Jonathan

    We need tougher laws in this state and better intervention. Looking at this criminal history I see a failure of the state to protect us from this guy and a failure to intervene in his substance abuse and disregard for the law… all these convictions, and now he’s killed somebody and is going to get 4 years max? Unbelievable. Being stoned, driving twice the speed limit and obliterating a cyclist is NOT an accident. It’s willfull disregard for his own life and everyone else out there on the road. But in 4 years he can get out and do it again? Seriously?

  4. Every Cyclist Is Thinking This

    Four years is a lifetime too short, so I hope a dude named Tiny makes Godwin his bitch every day for 4 years straight.

  5. KARMA…

    Maybe he’ll piss off the wrong someone with a shank and then he won’t be out in 4 years doing it again.

    So insulting.

    Yeah. It was just an accident. He didn’t mean to get in his car totally wasted. That was an accident too.

    Murders in WA state take note – do your evil while wasted and speeding in a car. I guess if you want to get away with it then be sober when you plow into someone, and as long as you can afford $42, you’ll be ok.

  6. Biliruben

    I don’t see a Driving While License Suspended citation anywhere in that list.

    How can that be? He should have lost his licence at 18 and, with litany of infractions, not gotten in back until the testosterone started to decline.

  7. Tom Fucoloro

    OK, before this conversation gets too blood thirsty, here are my personal thoughts on prison time.

    I have a hard time getting excited or eager about prison sentences due to my inherent distrust of the American prison industrial complex and my lack of faith in that system’s ability to reform rather than harden people. Is it valuable to trade a criminally negligent person for an actively lawless one?

    My goals are: The family of the victim must be completely taken care of financially. The person responsible should be responsible for things like child support. Dependents should be taken care of.

    I also think the person should never drive again or have a path back to a license that is difficult and requires immersion in, say, a trauma ward or something to ensure that if that person ever drives again, the person fully understands the consequences of actions (this may actually work better than simply banning, since someone can always just drive w/o a license if they have no legal way back). Since driving is a privilege and not a right, the convict should be forced to pay for any added admin costs for this process.

    I would love to see some reasonable jail time (can you imagine how much even a month of prison would suck?) coupled with long-term (years) community service and financial obligations.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      I should add that my views on this are not just about driving/traffic death crimes. I also understand that in our misguided justice system, number of years in jail is supposedly currency for how much society wants to discourage an activity. In that way, I want driving-related crimes to be treated with its due level of seriousness.

      1. Doug Bostrom

        “I also think the person should never drive again…”

        Agreed, with teeth. Incarceration is pretty useless here, as a deterrent or as “restitution” (as though there could be such a thing) . Our law needs to have a much more proximate, clearly defined and asymptotic threshold beyond which driving a motor vehicle becomes permanently and definitely impossible in the eyes of the law and– crucially– unlikely in practicality. It’s the latter issue that’s the rub; perhaps incarceration is the appropriate response for a person who has been banned from driving but attempts to continue doing so regardless.

      2. Tom Fucoloro

        Agreed there. Driving with a license revoked due to behavior (as opposed to expiration or some other non-threatening reason) should have severe penalties.

    2. Biliruben

      Agree completely. I am not particularly motivated by vengeance, I just want the dude off the road. What amazes me is that our justice system never took his license away.

      1. Tom Fucoloro

        Agreed. I am only talking about after-the-fact penalties. This should have never happened. Society had MANY opportunities to intervene before it came to this. I am blown away that a guy with this kind of record had a license. We obviously don’t take dangerous road behavior serious enough until someone dies (and then, only sometimes do we get serious).

  8. basketlover

    I think the internet said there are more tickets down in Oregon. Big money on his defense team working the disease angle to avoid jail time.

  9. KARMA…

    To anyone who wants to be so soft on these kind of “accidents”:

    Your close and very loved family member is likely next on the list to get snuffed out by an intoxicated reckless driver when the next habitual re-offender gets out after a wrist slap….suspended license or not.

    Think about it.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Nobody here is calling this an “accident.” And my position is not that we should be “soft.” I want a penalty that is going to address the problem, get long-term financial support for victim families and avoid creating hardened criminals out of criminal negligence and selfishness.

  10. Tom, your view on helping the victim first is SPOT-ON. Having spent three months in jail for my bike tickets, I can say that what you propose sure sounds good. It always seems like the victim gets unnoticed, and the criminal way to much attention.

    1. Gary

      “3 months for bike tickets”, Dude! Care to elaborate? Those whiners over at the SeattleTimes.com commenters are all about bicyclists getting off scott free. You are like the poster child of “bicyclists pay dues too.”

      I’m with Tom on this one. While prison is probably good for his soul, I want everything else that Tom wants here. Personal reform, and compensation.

  11. @Gary: I was in Bicycle Guide, and two local newspapers in Davis, Cal. I had a seven month sentence for failure to pay fines totaling 17,000 dollars. With good behavoir I got over four months off of my sentence.

    I have a copy of one article, but cannot post it due to copyright issues. I turned myself into to get everything “cleaned up” before I moved out of town, and it was worth it.

    Lots of stories, lil’ time. But no DUI’s, worse tix was for reckless riding and most were for speeding.

  12. karma

    the victim is just gone forever

    and no one will remember why – because this guy did his killing on the road instead of with a gun or bomb

    and it’s going to happen again and again over and over all over everyday

    until they build better bike/ped infrastructure.

    and it makes me angry.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Me too. Road safety is a crisis and we’re taking baby steps. They are positive steps, sure, but firefighters don’t crawl to put out fires.

      Traffic deaths are preventable, both by individuals and by urban design. Until we invest attention and money in both those areas, people will keep dying senselessly.

  13. mr. mister

    .5M$ bail and a day later he is free! I am sure that kind of money will get him an attorney who can get the charges reduced to a minor traffic infraction…

    1. Tired of Dodging

      It actually means he probably came up with $50K in cash or other security (i.e., property); but that still means that he is not destitute. Makes it look like he’ll be able to afford high-power representation like John Fox or Francisco Duarte. Too bad he didn’t spend that money to get himself into substance abuse treatment years ago.

      No, unfortunately, this POS frat-boy will likely spend 32 months in jail (48 months minus 1/3 good-time) if the prosecutor is lucky. But I’m certain he’ll come out all reformed, sorry for what he did and spend the rest of his life trying to make up for it. Oh yeah.

  14. Erik G.

    The truck is registered in Montana?
    Why?
    Timmy Eyman’s cheap license plates are too expensive for this guy?

  15. Mike

    I thought this was supposed to be innocent til proven guilty…all the facts i read says that he was under the legal limit also suboxen is not a narcotic so hes safe there an lets not forget that cops dont always tell the truth so if he was wasted wouldnt he be way over .08 hmmm…oh yea an couldnt be that the guy on the bike didnt break any laws cause they never do that…what happens when i get hit by a bicycle who pays for that probly not him…all the bike rider so wanted to be considered a vehicle then how about they get a lisence an pay for tabs and get insurance like we all do…a bike has to be aware espeacially at 3am that there could be people driving drunk…also they say he was on his way home from work could it be that he like alot of people stopped at a bar on his way home and was riding drunk or maybe he was on drugs maybe they should check his blood..yes its tradgic either way im just sayin it could go both ways but everyone wants to believe it must be the drivers fault.. Let look at the fact an be prepared that he is found not guilty just like the other kid that killed a guy on the bike because the bike was riding on the line in a 6 foot wide bike lane.

  16. […] bill is in the same vein as a discussion in the comments of our post about the death of Bradley Nakatani. A long-term financial commitment to the dependents left […]

  17. Craig

    Driving is a Privledge, not a right as it has become in the eyes of the masses in this country. The law needs to reflect that it’s a Privledge and can and will be taken away if you don’t obey the law.

  18. michelle

    Come on, do you actually believe the media fully here? Im sure you have some form of common sense..I would hope anyway…listen you have no idea nor right to just assume you could possibly understand this or even what your saying…the only thing good about having the “money” is to do THE proper investigation. So mr tired of dodging think before you talk

  19. michelle

    See this is so sad you’ve formed your opinion without knowing the FULL investigation. ..so your one of those perfect people that are media whores that are pathetic with NO life that judge with knowing NO truth go on with your sad life and comments get educated first son then we can talk

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