Steven Fortin Murder Case


Dr. Godwin’s assistance was instrumental in our successful opposition to the use of the FBI’s VICAP analysis results in the matter of State v. Fortin, a capital murder prosecution.

Michael Priarone, Defense Attorney in Steven Fortin case, Rockaway, NJ


Dr. Maurice Godwin was a consultant for the defense on the Fortin 2nd Trial. Fortain was originally sentenced to death but that verdict was overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court. In the first Steve Fortin trial the DA hired retired FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood of the Academy Group, Inc. to review whether the Melissa Padilla and Vicki Gardner cases were committed by the same offender. Mr. Hazelwood's job was basically to determine if there were behavioral similarities between Padilla's murder and the Gardner assault. Did Steven Fortin commit both of the crimes? Fortin was convicted of murder and later appealed. The New Jersey Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ruled that Hazelwood's use of "linkage analysis" was basically voodoo and was not a science.

In the second trial the prosecution then used FBI profiler Mark Safarik and his VICAP analysis in an attempt to show the similarities between crimes. However, Dr. Godwin's report and testimony for the defense on the unreliability of the FBI’s VICAP program and biased analysis from Agent Safarik stopped Safarik's testimony from being introduced as evidence. My only job in this case was to stop the use of VICAP results proffered by Agent Safarik, which I did.

Read Dr. Godwin's report in this case (PDF file)

NJ State v. Steven Fortin (A-112-2005)

Expert testimony by Dr. Godwin against allowing the FBI's VICAP system to be used in court to show similarities between crimes was up held by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Read decision here (PDF file)


Accused's capital murder re-trial begins in Middlesex

Fortin gets life in 2nd trial



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COPYRIGHT: (2014-15) All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Maurice Godwin.