The teen suspect insists he was joking, but police insist he committed a crime

By Chris Harris
November 04, 2019 10:26 AM
Nicholas Godfrey
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office

A Florida teen is facing serious criminal charges after allegedly logging on to Instagram and attempting to hire a hitman to kill someone who works at the high school he attends.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said that Nicholas Robert Godfrey, an 18-year-old Fivay High School student, told investigators he was only kidding when he allegedly offered $100,000 cash to anyone who could carry out the killing.

Godfrey has been charged with attempting to solicit and conspiring to commit murder, according to online records.

Police have not specified who Godfrey wanted dead, but did share the messages the teen allegedly sent in his failed bid to hire an assassin.

“I need a guy who could kill someone,” the Instagram message reads. “No joke. I need him eliminated as soon as possible.”

Another message allegedly posted by Godfrey indicates he has the $100,000 on hand for the murder.

A school resource officer alerted school officials in Hudson, Florida, to the messages, and Godfrey was tracked via his IP address.

Police allege Godfrey confessed to sending the messages, but insists he was merely joking around.

“It doesn’t matter if someone says ‘I was joking,'” Nocco told reporters Friday. “It doesn’t matter what their intent is. When you do it and you post it out there on social media, you committed that crime.”

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Godfrey was arrested Friday morning and released hours later on $10,000 bond.

It was unclear Monday if he had entered pleas to the charges against him, or if he has retained an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Efforts to reach the teen via phone were unsuccessful.