Charges dismissed against suspect in fatal shooting of Ooltewah hairdresser

A man charged with fatally shooting an Ooltewah hairdresser in 2020 will not be prosecuted.

The state in a motion Thursday moved to dismiss the indictment of Sanel Durakovic, 29, who was facing a charge of premeditated first-degree murder. The state asked for the dismissal without prejudice, which would allow it to refile charges in the future. The motion was signed by Assistant District Attorney Kevin Loper.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office declined Friday to comment on the motion.

Chattanooga Attorney Ben McGowan, who represents Durakovic, said by phone Friday that while he could not comment, it was a "welcomed dismissal."

Durakovic was arrested Jan. 25, 2020, according to jail records, in connection with the fatal shooting of 57-year-old Patrick Godwin at the 8500 block of Horseshoe Bend Lane in Ooltewah.

As previously reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Godwin had just arrived home from work and was standing in his yard when he was shot.

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Responding officers arrived at Godwin's home and found him lying next to his vehicle, according to a sworn affidavit from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Godwin was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders, according to the affidavit.

Witnesses told investigators they heard two gunshots and saw a dark-colored sedan sitting on the street, then driving away at a high rate of speed, according to the affidavit.

Then-Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said in a news conference he believed the shooting was not a random act of violence. Durakovic and Godwin were familiar with each other because of "common interests," Hammond said.

The manager of the Tease Salon, where Godwin worked with Durakovic's then-girlfriend, said Godwin had "snapped" her with a towel on her buttocks and had made several passes at her, making her uncomfortable, investigators said in an affidavit.

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The manager also said the woman had expressed her concerns with Durakovic, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said witnesses corroborated it was Durakovic's black Audi they saw at the scene, according to the affidavit.

  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Sanel Durakovic

Contact La Shawn Pagán at [email protected] or 423-757-6476.