VERDICT: Greene County jury finds Nicholas Godejohn guilty of first-degree murder
A Greene County jury Thursday afternoon found Nicholas Godejohn guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Clauddine Blanchard. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
The jury also found him guilty on one count of armed criminal action.
The jury spent just about two hours in deliberation.
Godejohn, 28, of Big Bend, Wisc., faced a first-degree murder charge for the stabbing death of Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, 48, on June 14, 2015, at her home just north of Springfield. Blancharde’s daughter, Gypsy, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in July of 2016. A judge sentenced her to a 10-year prison sentence.
Gypsy Blanchard testified she met Godejohn online and communicated secretly for three years before he came to Springfield at her request. Prosecutors argued Godejohn then killed Dee Dee, took several thousand dollars from her house, mailed the murder knife to his home, 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. 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 Blanchard as the rest of their family does.