For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
A Sun Valley man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for robbery and weapons charges stemming from a April, 2016 incident in which a Reno couple were robbed at gunpoint in downtown Reno. The sentence ensures that the defendant will serve a minimum of 8 years in prison before he becomes eligible for parole.
Javier Godoy-Rufino, 21, from Sun Valley pled guilty in November, 2016 and was sentenced in district court last Tuesday to 30 years in prison for one count of Robbery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon, one count of Battery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon and one count of Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number. His charges were the result of an arrest for an April 21, 2016 robbery of a young Reno man and woman who were on a blind date. Godoy-Rufino confronted the couple while they were sitting on a bench outside of Reno Justice Court along the river. The defendant put a gun to the back of the man’s head, directed racial slurs at him and demanded money. The man complied while his female companion ran to safety and called 911. When the victim gave Godoy-Rufino the $20 he had in his wallet, Godoy-Rufino responded by saying “is that all you got, nigger” and then struck the victim in the back of the head with the gun, using enough force to knock him to the ground. Godoy-Rufino then fled on foot. The Reno Police Department (RPD) responded and, after a brief chase, Godoy-Rufino gave up when confronted by a RPD K9 unit. RPD officers were able to locate the loaded revolver Godoy-Rufino used in the robbery in an area he was tracked running through. He was arrested and when officers searched him they located a folded $20 bill in his pocket. This office subsequently filed formal criminal charges against Godoy-Rufino for the robbery and battery.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Kevin Naughton argued that the Defendant had been overheard on jail calls admitting to the robbery and to having shaved his mustache in order to appear more innocent in front of the court. The victim provided an impact statement and explained that the crime has changed his life and that he no longer feels safe living in the downtown area. Claiming that Godoy-Rufino was intoxicated at the time of the crime and his actions were out of character, the defense asked for the minimum sentence of 7.5 years with parole eligibility after 3 years. Godoy-Rufino was sentenced by the Honorable Jerome Polaha.
District Attorney Chris Hicks commended the Reno Police Department for its quick response and apprehension of Godoy-Rufino. He further praised the victims for their courage and assistance in securing the lengthy prison sentence for this dangerous defendant.