Gulbertson sentenced to life in prison

Published 11:11 am Saturday, May 1, 2010

Freeborn County District Court Judge John A. Chesterman on Friday sentenced Chad Jamie Gulbertson to life in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend Jody Lee Morrow in June of 2009.

This was the presumptive sentence for Gulbertson’s most serious conviction of first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse.

He will be eligible for parole after 30 years.

Email newsletter signup

The sentencing came about an hour after the jury reached a verdict in the case.

The verdict included convictions of first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse, second-degree intentional murder and second-degree murder while violating an order for protection.

Gulbertson was found not guilty of first-degree murder involving premeditation and first-degree murder while committing a burglary.

Authorities found Morrow’s body June 21, 2009, after she had suffered at least 18 blows to the head with hammer and three stab wounds to the neck.

Standing between his lawyers Friday evening — wearing shackles on his wrists and ankles — Gulbertson told the judge and others present in the courtroom that he plans to write a book about his experiences. All proceeds will go towards Morrow’s two boys.

“Good-bye Jody. I loved you,” he announced to the courtroom.

Chesterman said the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office will deliver Gulbertson to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, where he will be transferred to a state prison facility.

Prior to the sentencing, Brandy Van Skike, Morrow’s sister, read aloud a victims impact statement from the friends and family of Morrow.

Van Skike said at the time before her death, Morrow was making plans to better her life. However, because of the choice Gulbertson made, her friends and family will never know what she could have done.

She said Gulbertson will never suffer as much as her sister has.

“She will always be loved and will never be forgotten,” Van Skike said.