Hit and run driver who killed Northville man still has license awaiting sentence as family blames judge

The convicted driver of a fatal hit and run has not been sentenced yet but is out on bail driving around leaving the family of his victim outraged, adding to their heartbreak.

Gustavo Godinez was convicted of failure to stop at an accident that killed 20-year-old Dominic Duhn. Godinez, 20, is still free and still driving while awaiting sentencing.  

"At this point, we are worried that he is going to hurt or kill someone else," said Gabrielle Duhn. "We are dealing with a judge that has a blatant bias against our son's hit and run killer."  

The Duhn family says 36th District Court Judge Catherine Heise is playing favorites and it’s crushing.  

"She is adding salt to our wound, she really is," Gabrielle said.

Last September Dominic Duhn was riding his skateboard on Sheldon Road in Northville Township - when police say Godinez hit him and left. The defense attorney argued that Godinez didn’t realize he hit a person.  

Before Godinez was arrested a month later, last October, he got a separate speeding ticket in nearby Plymouth Township.  

"You kill somebody and you're still not careful on the road - it was unbelievable to me,"  Gabrielle said. 

And then he made bond. The initial judge took his license and put a tether on him, but when the case got to Judge Heise, she gave him his license back.

"Because she didn’t think it was fair he had to Uber to work, and then she had some restrictions with the license, then she took the tether off," Gabrielle said.  

Gustavo Godinez , Judge Catherine Heise.

Gustavo Godinez , Judge Catherine Heise.

The office of Judge Catherine Heise was unable to comment on open cases. 

Dominic’s mom says she’s not even taking into account Godinez's sketchy driving record.  

"Right now she has his driving record which has a total of eight tickets that we know of, by the age of 19," she said. 

They’ll be back in court on July 30th to urge Judge Heise to take Godinez’s license away until sentencing, expected sometime in September.  

Meanwhile, they are working on forgiveness.  

"We do want him to turn his life around, we want him to serve time in prison and have some remorse and understand the terrible mistake he made and come out and help others and honor Dominic," she said.