VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach man accused threatening Rep. Scott Taylor will remain behind bars.
A federal judge denied 69-year-old Wallace Grove Godwin bond Tuesday afternoon, saying that is was not the court’s job to gamble with the community’s safety.
According to court records, 69-year-old Wallace Grove Godwin visited Taylor’s office to discuss his stance on marijuana and made threats regarding the congressman and two staffers. Taylor was not in the office at the time.
Godwin is alleged to have said, “Scott is having an event this Saturday. I am going to get my shotgun and do something about this. I will just handle this myself.”
Documents also show Godwin is alleged to have pointed at two staffers in the room before leaving and saying, “You two are next.”
He is charged with threatening to murder and assault a United States official.
Godwin waived his preliminary hearing, but his attorney argued to have him released to the care of his family.
His attorney told the judge that Godwin has dementia and a degenerative brain disease that’s worsened within the past five years.
She said that Godwin, an Army veteran, needs medical treatment that can not be provided in jail and said his family would supervise at all times.
His attorney said that all the guns inside Godwin’s home had been removed months ago.
Taylor told 10 On Your Side Godwin is known to his office, has been rude on previous occasions and even blocked his car at his home.
Prosecutors wanted to keep Godwin detained because they believe he still poses a threat to public.
Attorneys argued that Godwin’s obsession against marijuana, his repeated visits to see Taylor, and his escalation to threats are red flags the government cannot ignore despite claims about Godwin’s health.
Prosecutors also revealed that he called Rep. Taylor’s office in February to complain about road conditions. When he became agitated, he threatened to kill Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.
10 On Your Side reached out to Virginia Beach officials, who confirmed that a threat was made and that a report was made to the Virginia Beach Police Department.
But, based on reported information, Mayor Sessoms declined to pursue prosecution.
Godwin, who is being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail, declined interview requests.