Judge sentences Nicholas Godejohn to prison for death of Dee Dee Blanchard
A Greene County judge sentenced Nicholas Godejohn to life in prison without parole for his part in the stabbing death of Clauddine Blanchard in June of 2014. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder in November 2018.
Before his sentence was read, Nicholas Godejohn had a chance to speak. He told the judge all he ever wanted was to be with Gypsy Blanchard, and that he's never known motherly love or a close relationship with any woman. "It's missing. It's always been a missing link," says Goedejohn. "That's the reason why, I guess when I got so deep into this situation where I fell in love so deeply."
Godejohn said he believes the saying that love is blind. "I admit it; I was blind in love," he said.
He asked the judge for mercy, but his conviction for killing Claudinne Blanchard came with only one possible sentence- life without parole.
Godejohn also received a 25 year sentence for his armed criminal action conviction, but he'll serve it at the same time.
"We're very pleased with the outcome of the Godejohn case today," says Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson.
Judge David Jones turned down the defense's motion for a new trial, which included arguments about the expert testimony allowed in the trial. Defense attorney Dewayne Perry declined an interview following the sentencing.
"There was a lot of argument about the expert witness in the trial, and I believe the judge followed the law in Missouri, and the jury got to hear from the two expert witnesses, and I think, made the right decision," Patterson said.
Patterson is pleased with both sentences in the case, which was made famous across the country. "You have to be very careful not to get distracted or wrapped up in all the drama that's ongoing and make decisions based on the facts and the law going forward. So while these two defendants, Gypsy and Nicholas, got two very different sentences, they also had very different roles and came from very different backgrounds with regard to this crime," said Patterson.
As Judge Jones was giving Nicholas Godejohn instructions about his right to appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals in the next 90 days, Godejohn was nodding yes, indicating he does plan to appeal.
Clauddine Blancharde’s daughter, Gypsy, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in July of 2016 for her mother's death. A judge sentenced her to a 10-year prison sentence. Gypsy Blanchard testified she met Godejohn, 28, of Big Bend, Wisc., online and communicated secretly for three years before he came to Springfield at her request. Prosecutors argued Godejohn killed Blanchard and returned to Wisconsin with Gypsy by bus.
Police arrested them at Godejohn’s home a few days after the murder. In court, Gypsy said she planned her mother's murder. She had also considered poison, arson and a gun.
The defense pushed Godejohn's mental condition as a factor in the crime. Dr. Kent Franks, forensic psychologist, testified about Godejohn's childhood and mental disabilities. Franks performed a series of tests to determine Godejohn's intelligence and mental health. The prosecution's own psychologist argued he is just barely within the diagnosis of autism.
The Blanchards moved to Springfield in 2006 from Louisiana after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After they moved, they used the last name Blanchard instead of Blancharde as the rest of their family does.