Dee Dee Blanchard murder: Now serving life in prison, Godejohn asks judge to set aside criminal trial

Gregory J. Holman
Gannett
A gavel rests on a judge's bench.

One of the most unusual Greene County murder cases in living memory took a new turn over the New Year's holiday weekend.

Nicholas Godejohn, 31, who is serving a life sentence at the Potosi Correctional Center forthe 2015 murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, is now asking a judge to set aside the criminal case that ended with his murder conviction.

The often-bizarre case and its aftermathdrew global media attention. Godejohn's former girlfriend, Gyspy Blanchard, was given a 10-year prison sentence for her role in the June 9, 2015 death of Dee Dee Blanchard, her 48-year-old mother.

The killing followed years of reported tension between parent and child. Most observers believe that Gypsy, 29, suffered medical child abuse, sometimes called "Munchausen by proxy," from Dee Dee. Friends of the family and many community members believed that Gypsy Blanchard had cancer, netting the mother-daughter duo plenty of attention and charity help.

The news of Godejohn's latest court move came Dec. 29 with the first "post-conviction relief" filings made by Godejohn's attorneys.

According to theMissouri attorney general's office, post-conviction relief, or PCR, is a legal procedure that can take place after the normal appeals process ends. (On Oct. 1, a Missouri appeals court affirmed Godejohn's original court judgment and February 2019 sentencing, records show.)

After appeals are exhausted, PCR allows a criminally convicted party like Godejohn to potentially make a few specific legal claims: 

  • That the trial court had no jurisdiction to convict him or her;
  • That his or her sentence exceeds the maximum possible for the crime; or
  • or that the conviction or sentence violates constitutional or state law.

Most often, the attorney general's office says, PCR is a proceeding where a defendant may challenge the actions of his or her lawyer during the trial and the appeals process.

Reached by the News-Leader Tuesday morning, Columbia-based public defender Jenny Young declined to comment on what Godejohn and his attorneys might argue before the court.