Gypsy Blanchard now likely to testify in murder trial against Nicholas Godejohn
Attorneys now expect Gypsy Blanchard to testify in the murder trial of Nicholas Godejohn.
The man accused in the stabbing death of Dee Dee Blanchard, Gypsy's mother, appeared in Greene County court Wednesday for a pre-trial conference hearing. Jury selection in the case begins Thursday.
Attorneys for Godejohn argue he did at the request of Gypsy in 2015. They also argue he suffers from autism.
"Autism spectrum disorder interferes with a person's ability to envision consequences and think ahead," said defense attorney Dewayne Perry.
His lawyers want a medical expert to take the stand to talk about his condition. Prosecutors say testimony must stick to the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder.
"The state's position is not that he can't testify. It's that he can't testify as to whether or not this defendant deliberated." said Greene County Prosectuor Dan Patterson.
In other words, the jury has to decide whether or not Godejohn thought about what he was doing at the time he was doing it.
"It does not take away a defense," said Patterson. "The defense of diminished capacity is still there."
This is different than pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Godejohn's overall mental health has been deemed fit to stand trial.
"His ability to understand the gravity of what was taking place was more child-like than adult." said Perry. "I think that's a fair statement both of autism spectrum disorder and Mr. Godejohn's situation."
The judge will decide if any medical experts can testify.
Gypsy pleased guilty to second-degree murder. She is serving a ten-year sentence.