Trial begins for Big Bend man accused in stabbing death of girlfriend's mother in Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A jury trial began Tuesday, Nov. 13 in Missouri for a Big Bend man accused in connection with the murder of his girlfriend's mother.

Nicholas Godejohn

Nicholas Godejohn, 29, faces first degree murder charges in the stabbing death of Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blancharde, 48, at her home in Springfield, Missouri in June of 2015.

Dee Dee's daughter, Gypsy Blancharde, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in 2016, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint, on June 14, 2015, police were called to Blancharde's home in Missouri to check her well-being after concerned friends found a strange Facebook update from the mother and daughter's shared account.

During a search of the residence, authorities found Dee Dee face-down on her bed with multiple stab wounds to her back area.  Gypsy was not located at the residence.

According to the complaint, officials were able to trace the Facebook post to a location registered to Nicholas Godejohn in Big Bend. Shortly before 3a.m. on June 14, 2015, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri requested a welfare check at the address in Big Bend.

Law enforcement presence in Big Bend

When Waukesha County Sheriff's deputies arrived on scene, they located Gypsy Blancharde and Nicholas Godejohn at the residence, and after a brief standoff, they were detained. Prosecutors said they mailed the murder weapon to Wisconsin and then boarded a bus bound for Big Bend.

According to the criminal complaint, Godejohn admitted to stabbing Dee Dee several times in the back. Godejohn told investigators he knew what he had done was wrong, but he did it for Gypsy, because she asked him to.

Gypsy and Dee Dee Blancharde

The complaint indicates Gypsy was at the home at the time of the killing, and even helped clean up the blood.

Prosecutors said Gypsy admitted to making the Facebook post. Gyspy allegedly posted the comment because she wanted her mother found more quickly by law enforcement officials.

Prosecutors said an investigation revealed Dee Dee abused her daughter and forced her to pretend for years that she was disabled to raise money.

Crime scene in Missouri - Dee Dee Blancharde

"We have uncovered the appearance of a long financial fraud scheme along with this tragic event," Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said shortly after Dee Dee was found dead.

Details emerged that Gypsy and her mother apparently lived a secret life. In previous news reports, Gypsy was reported to suffer from muscular dystrophy and leukemia, and used a wheelchair. In an interview about their new Habitat for Humanity House in 2008, after she and her mother moved to Missouri from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, her age was listed as 12, according to KY3.

Sheriff Arnott said there was doubt they were Hurricane Katrina victims.

At a news conference held after charges were filed, Sheriff Arnott said the murder investigation uncovered "a long history of mystery and public deception" -- citing multiple birth dates for Gypsy on a probable cause statement used as the basis for charges in this murder case.

Sheriff Arnott even went so far as to caution the public to be careful about donating to accounts set up to help the family.