Valpo woman gets 50 years for stabbing man who tried to help
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 30, 2013 4:42PM
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:49AM
VALPARAISO — The Valparaiso woman who stabbed a Flint Lake-area man after using his phone to call for help received a 50-year prison sentence on Friday.
During the sentencing hearing, Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford said that the state had done all it could to help and to rehabilitate Billie Jo Moore, 50, during what he called one of the most extensive criminal histories he’s seen.
Because nothing seemed to work for her, the only way to protect society was to keep her imprisoned for the longest possible time, Bradford said.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Trista Hudson argued for the maximum sentence of 50 years because of Moore’s previous six prior felony convictions and 12 misdemeanor convictions.
Three of those convictions were for battery.
Hudson also said that the stabbings to then-64-year-old Robert L. Gottschling were particularly severe and life threatening.
Moore stabbed Gottschling near the heart and under the ribs, and she slashed him on the elbow and across the hand.
Defense attorney Clay Patton argued for a 25-year sentence, citing Moore’s rough childhood and problems with substance abuse as mitigators.
Jurors had found Moore guilty of Class B felony aggravated battery and Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon after an hour deliberation on Aug. 1.
It took about the same amount of time to find her guilty of being a habitual offender.
Moore stabbed Gottschling in his home on Oct. 10, 2010.
She asked to use his phone to call a friend because she was in an accident.
Witnesses said she drove into a ditch in the backyards between Edgewater Beach and Flint Lake.
She’ got back there after driving off the end of Marigold Drive and told witnesses it was because her flip flop had gotten stuck with the accelerator.
Witnesses said she demanded people help her get her car out of the ditch and acted peculiarly, possible in an altered state.
After they called police, she wandered off and to look for a friend’s house and met Gottschling at his mailbox.
He allowed her into his home but asked her to leave because she continued to make phone calls after the first one.
Then she stabbed him.
Police found her hiding in bushes outside his home.