SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A woman once thought to have been wheelchair-bound with various disabilities pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning for the stabbing death of her mother. Gypsy Blanchard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a deal with prosecutors who agreed to drop a first-degree murder charge.
Gypsy Blanchard pleads guilty on July 5, 2016, for killing her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in June 2015 at their home north of Springfield. (Courtroom pool photo by Andrew Jensen, Springfield News-Leader)
Greene County Circuit Judge Calvin Holden sentenced Blanchard to 10 years in the Department of Corrections after Blanchard waived her right to a pre-sentencing report. The range of prison time for second-degree murder is between 10 and 30 years. She will get credit for her one year served in the county jail while awaiting trial, and will have to serve at least 8.5 years before being eligible for parole.
Clauddinnea "Dee Dee" Blanchard was found stabbed to death in the home that she shared with her daughter north of Springfield on June 14, 2015. Friends had asked the Greene County Sheriff's Department to check on the family after threatening messages showed up on Dee Dee's Facebook page.
Dee Dee's body was found lying face down on her bed with multiple stab wounds on her back and neck. No one else was at home.
The home on Volunteer Way was purchased from Habitat for Humanity after Dee Dee and Gypsy Blanchard moved to Springfield from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.
Investigators found Dee Dee's ultimate con job was using her daughter as a handicapped poster child. At various times, detectives found, Dee Dee and Gypsy had listed her birthday as 7/27/95 and 7/28/92. Detectives believe she actually was born on 7/27/91, according to the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges.
It turns out Gypsy wasn't handicapped after police tracked her down in Wisconsin after the murder. The mother and daughter had also changed the spelling of their name from Blanchard to Blancharde.
Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said there was enough evidence for a first-degree murder conviction. That would have meant a life prison sentence with no chance of parole. Patterson said, however, that the emotional abuse that Gypsy suffered at the hands of her mother made him believe that would not have been an appropriate sentence.
Blanchard's attorney, Mike Stanfield, said Dee Dee was essentially holding her daughter as a prisoner and would not allow her to spend time alone with anyone else. At the hearing on Tuesday morning, Blanchard told the judge that she had only completed second grade.
Detectives said Gypsy plotted her mother's death with her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, 27, a man whom she met online. The pair was arrested at Godejohn's home in Big Bend, Wisc., after Dee Dee's body was discovered. Detectives believe Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee at Gypsy's urging, and then they rode a bus back to Wisconsin a couple of days later.
In Big Bend, officers arrested Blanchard and Godejohn after a brief standoff at his home. When a detective interviewed Godejohn, he admitted riding a bus to Springfield, stabbing Dee Dee at Gypsy's request while he was on top of Dee Dee, holding her down, according to the probable cause statement against them.
Godejohn said Gypsy gave him the knife. Afterwards, he said, they mailed it to his home in Big Bend "so he would not get caught with it." He said the pair cleaned up blood in the house after the stabbing, took several thousand dollars from a safe in Dee Dee's bedroom.
"Nicholas stated he knew what he had done was wrong, but he did it for Gypsy because she asked him to," the probable cause statement said.
When a detective interviewed Blanchard in Wisconsin, she admitted to being at her home when Godejohn stabbed her mother.
"She admitted to knowing her boyfriend was going to stab her mother, and she did nothing to stop it nor did she report it to the authorities. Gypsy admitted she was in the house when her mother was being stabbed, and she could hear her screaming," the probable cause statement says.
Blanchard also admitted that she posted comments on her mother's Facebook page, including, "that ***** is dead." She said she made the postings because she wanted her mother found quicker by law enforcement. She also admitted that she helped clean up the blood, called a cab, and she and Godejohn then went to a motel in Springfield to spend the night before taking a bus to Wisconsin.
Godejohn's murder case is pending. He has a pretrial conference set for July 12 and a jury trial scheduled to begin on Nov. 28.