| Crime |

Joseph Godinez of Phoenix Used 6-Year-Old's Arm as Ashtray, Cops Say; Kids Removed From Home

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Authorities have taken at least two children from a west Phoenix home after arresting 40-year-old Joseph Godinez for burning his 6-year-old stepson's arm with a cigarette.

Godinez burned the kid back on May 22 at their home near 81st and West Indianoloa avenues, court records state. At school the next day, the boy went to the nurse complaining of arm pain. He explained to school staff that his stepfather had intentionally burned him as punishment for going into the man's room.

Police soon interviewed Godinez, who told them the boy had been burned accidentally when he walked into the cigarette. Cops didn't buy the excuse and asked him to take a polygraph. The machine indicated he was lying, but Godinez stuck to his story, records state.

On December 17, authorities interviewed the man's 8-year-old stepdaughter at Childhelp "on an unrelated incident." The girl mentioned that she'd witnessed the cigarette incident. Godinez had burned her brother on purpose and instructed the boy to lie about what happened, she told police.

Godinez fled the home when police arrived to pick up yesterday, but he was caught and booked into jail. Police seek a charge of felony child abuse.

Godinez's wife, Shabrie Gonzalez, was also booked into jail on December 27 on suspicion of shoplifting and failing to appear for a prior court date, records show.

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