SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Another chapter is closed in the case of a Springfield woman charged in her mother’s murder.
Gypsy Blanchard was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday after taking a plea deal in the murder of her mother Clauddinea “Dee Dee” Blanchard
After deputies arrested Gypsy Blanchard in June 2015, prosecutors had planned to pursue a first-degree murder charge. Her team of public defenders said this plea agreement is a product of months of behind-closed-doors negotiations with Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson.
After reviewing thousands of pages of medical records and other evidence, Patterson said the sentence is a fair and just end to her case.
Life behind bars is oddly the greatest freedom Gypsy Blanchard has ever experienced.
“She just seems a lot older and more mature, it seems like she has done a lot of growing since she’s been in there,” said Aleah Woodmansee, a friend of Gypsy.
Woodmansee lived near the Habitat for Humanity home Gypsy and Dee Dee Blanchard shared in Greene County. She said she was as surprised as everyone else when she learned that home was practically a prison.
“When you don’t have any of the normal societal interactions that we all have, you don’t go to school, you don’t go out to play with friends, you don’t go to church and you don’t learn how to do those things by yourself, you don’t learn how to function,” said Mike Stanfield, one of Gypsy Blanchard’s public defenders.
After combing through 15 years of medical records, Gypsy’s defense and the prosecution agreed that while Gypsy needs to take responsibility for Dee dee’s death, Dee Dee had a crippling effect on Gypsy’s destiny.
“In one particular instance, the doctor made a notation that when she was speaking about Gypsy’s mental handicaps, the doctor even mentioned that her mother placed her hands over Gypsy’s ears as not to upset her,” Stanfield said.
“Gypsy Blanchard suffered 20 years of abuse at the hands of her mother and her mother using that abuse to facilitate fraud,” Patterson said.
Woodmansee believes she is the only person in Gypsy’s corner, but someone going forward has to fulfill that role.
“Obviously there’s more to it than anybody ever knew and so I believe that everybody deserves some kind of support whether or not they agree with what they did,” Woodmansee said.
Patterson said Gypsy Blanchard’s plea agreement is not contingent upon her providing information or testimony to aid in the prosecution of Nicholas Godejohn.
Blanchard must serve at least 85 percent of that 10 year sentence before she is eligible for parole.