Accused Chicago Man Did Not Shoot ATF Agent, Lawyer Says

Hundreds of police and federal agents poured into the Back of the Yards neighborhood in the wake of Friday’s shooting of an ATF agent. But all they were able to turn up was circumstantial evidence, according to the attorney for Ernesto Godinez, the man who turned himself in Monday night in connection with the crime.

"Ernesto Godinez is not the shooter of this officer," lawyer Lawrence Hymann said Wednesday.

Hyman says Godinez has grown past his troubled youth, and now has roots in the community, and children to raise.

"There is no reason for him to commit a crime when he has all this going for him, when his life is completely different from what it was," Hymann said.

But police say they have extensive surveillance camera video that places Godinez in the neighborhood at the time of the incident, outside his house in the early morning moments before the ATF agent was shot in the face and running back into his house in the moments after.

"I say this is a case that is even less than circumstantial," Hymann said. "There is a lot of speculation based on the facts that the government has given us. There are five shell casings, there is no gun found. There is no weapon found in his home, there isn't even a bullet found in his house."

But police say neighborhood cooperation also lead them to Godinez--who has a lengthy police record.

"They were willing to come forward and we can now see the fruits of their actions," Ald. Ray Lopez said of those who helped lead officers to Godinez.

The ATF too says they have the right man, almost a hundred agents and the parents of the victim packed the courtroom to see Godinez, initial appearance before a federal judge.

"If this individual was willing to shoot a member of law enforcement, I believe there would be no hesitation on his part in doing the same thing to an area resident," CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

Godinez surrendered to authorities Monday night, but his attorney says that was not an admission of guilt.

"The allegations were that he was going to be charged with this offense," Hymann said. "He had nothing to run from. He wanted to face his accusers. He is an innocent individual."

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