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Big Rapids Man Receives Life Sentence for 2022 Murder

LANSING –Today, Daykota Handrich, 25, of Big Rapids, received a life-sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2022 murder of Ashley Godfrey, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. He was sentenced by Judge Kimberly Booher of the 49th Circuit Court in Mecosta County. Following a four-day trial, a Mecosta County jury found Handrich guilty of First Degree Murder in November. Handrich was charged by Mecosta County Prosecutor John Peterson before the case was transferred to the Department of Attorney General this spring for prosecution at trial.

Handrich strangled and beat to death Godfrey, then 36, and also of Big Rapids, in the city of Big Rapids on May 31, 2022. Godfrey’s body was discovered by officers patrolling the White Pine Trail on June 3rd, 2022. The jury deliberated for less than five hours before announcing the verdict shortly after 7:00pm.

“I would like to thank the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, the Michigan State Police, and the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office for their diligent investigative efforts and support during this prosecution,” said Nessel at the time of Handrich’s conviction. “I am grateful we were able to secure justice for the family and community mourning Ashley’s death. My Department remains committed to assisting local prosecutors when we can with resource and time intensive prosecutions and trials.”


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