CLEVELAND, Ohio - The ex-girlfriend the man who recorded and uploaded video in which he shot and killed a 74-year-old man is “trying to pick up the pieces” of her life.
Steve Stephens blamed his former girlfriend, Joy Lane, for the killing.
“The hashtags Joy Lane, Joy Lane massacre ... I don’t know if I know how to be Joy Lane anymore. I don’t know how to pick up all the pieces of my world at the moment,” Lane told WJW-TV. “I’ve got a lot of negative comments. I’ve been called almost every cuss word in the book. I’ve been told that I’m the one who should have died, he should have killed me.”
Stephens, who dated Lane for several years, mentioned her moments before shooting Robert Godwin Sr. on Sunday, saying, “She’s the reason why all this is about to happen to you.” He also made Godwin say her name before gunning him down.
Since Stephens’ suicide on Tuesday, Lane has received support from many close to her, but also from two strangers: two of Godwin’s daughters, Tonya R. Godwin-Baines and Debbie D. Godwin. Lane met the sisters, and the three women hugged, cried and prayed together, WJW-TV reported.
“I feel bad. The last thing he would have said is my name, and he didn’t know me or why he was saying, and that’s been difficult,” Lane told the women.
The Godwin family, however, doesn’t blame her for the tragic incident.
“It’s not your fault,” Godwin-Baines told Lane. “We don’t hold any ill feelings towards you.”
After Godwin’s murder, Lane was placed in protective care while authorities launched a nationwide hunt for Stephens over the course of several days.
Lane said she tried to call Stephens after he posted the video on Facebook, but he didn’t answer.
She told WJW-TV she and Stephens had once looked at engagement rings, but they recently “mutually parted ways,” in part because he had a gambling issue. She said the two remained friends. Stephens called Lane the day before the murder to tell her he had quit his job and planned to move out of state.
Stephens took his own life on Tuesday as police attempted to pull him over.
Godwin was the father of 10 children.
See video of Lane’s meeting with Godwin’s daughters at WJW-TV.
This undated photo provided by the Cleveland Police shows Steve Stephens. Stephens broadcast the fatal shooting of another man live on Facebook on Sunday, April 16, 2017. (Cleveland Police via AP)
Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.