SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–A total of fifteen people including three alternates will be serving on the jury in the much-anticipated trial of 29-year-old Nicholas Godejohn.
Godejohn is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dee Dee Blanchard-the mother of his ex-girlfriend Gypsy Blanchard in June of 2015 in Springfield.
Nine women and six men will be serving on the jury. The jury won’t be sequestered, but the judge ordered them not to do any research on the case whether it be through social media or looking at old television interviews.
On Friday, it was the defense team’s turn to ask the jury questions.
Attorney Andrew Mead asked specific questions like if any of the jurors believe autism can alter a person’s decision-making abilities and some jurors did raise their hand.
Mead also mentioned that if the jury can’t come to a first-degree murder conviction then second-degree murder is an option that could be presented. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years with the possibility of parole unlike first-degree murder where the sentence is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Mead asked the jurors if any of them would have a problem with a second-degree murder conviction, at which point, Greene County prosecutor, Dan Patterson objected-claiming the defense was asking hypothetical questions.
After about an hour and a half, both sides reached an agreement on who the jury would be.
One dismissed juror told KOLR10 that even though she had an opinion on the case, she would still have been an impartial juror if selected.
“I think it was a terrible situation that Gypsy was living in and I also think that she knew nothing, but lying and fooling all of her life and I wanted to see what his side of the story was. I think I could see it from every perspective,” says dismissed juror, Sheila Dunbar.
Opening statements start on Tuesday and the trial is expected to be finished by the end of next week.