Freeport man sentenced to 52 years for stabbing ex-girlfriend to death

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — Chad Blaser, 24, has been sentenced to 52 years in prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Gabriel Petsche, more than 20 times, causing her death.

Blaser pleaded guilty to the crime in November, 2019.

Freeport Police say that at 5:11 p.m. on Friday, February 1st, 2019, officers were called to the intersection of West Avenue and Pleasant Street on the report a man was physically assaulting a woman at the scene of a single vehicle crash. 

Officers found Petsche on the ground near a vehicle that had hit a snow pile.  Investigators say she was stabbed multiple times in her back, abdomen, and head. 

In court Monday, witnesses to the crime said they heard Petsche plead “please stop” and her attacker say “no.”

She was taken to an area hospital where she died from her injuries.

Police found a pocket knife in the driver’s side door with the tip broken off. The couple’s 11-month-old child was found in the backseat of the car.

A short time later, Blaser was found nearby.  In court, prosecutors said he had blood on his clothing and hands and asked “I didn’t do her too bad, did I?” when he surrendered.

He was arrested and taken to an area hospital to treat minor cuts to one of his hands.  

Detective John Johanson told the court he interviewed Blaser that night, who told him he did not remember the events of the murder and that he “blacked out” but then admitted to punching and stabbing Petsche multiple times. Blaser said he and Petsche were arguing about child visitation.

Blaser also said that at one point, Petsche picked up the knife after he dropped it and stabbed him in the hand.

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