Victim in machete attack wonders if justice was served at sentencing

MADISON COUNTY, IL-A man is out on probation for stabbing a Madison County woman with a machete.

Lisa Godar is angry and afraid. Her ex only got probation for nearly killing her with a machete.

“He was going to kill me that’s what he was going to do if my daughter would have stopped him he would’ve killed me.”

It’s been 14 months since Lisa Godar says she was attacked by Lonnie Stamper, her children’s father, with a machete. He severed a major artery in her arm and slashed her neck.

“I died on them three times. They flew me to Barnes. They didn’t know if I was gonna make it or not," she says.

On February 6th, 2017 Lonnie Stamper was charged with attempted murder, aggravated domestic battery, and aggravated battery with great bodily harm.

But on March 20th, Stamper was determined unfit to stand trial and was sent to the Alton Mental Health Center.

Nine months later, Stamper was deemed fit to stand trial. He pled guilty to aggravated domestic battery and was convicted and given 2 years probation.

But Godar doesn’t feel that Justice was served.

She says, “No that’s not justice at all for someone that’s mentally ill he should still be in the hospital I mean anyone else that would’ve done that they would be in prison or in the mental hospital for the rest of their life.”

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons says, “Our choice in this case was essentially not guilty by reason of insanity with absolutely no punishment and no supervision, or us entering into an arrangement where we were able to provide the supervision and provide the mental health treatment. That is absolutely a far cry from the measure of justice that a victim in her circumstances deserves but unfortunately that’s what our system has to offer.”

During this time, the Madison County State’s Attorneys Office lost three public defenders and Godar says she felt as though her case slipped through the cracks.

Gibbons says, “The attorney handling this case was a very experienced federal prosecutor so I don’t think that was the situation at all or issue for us in all our victim services were the very same people throughout this entire process and I don’t think that was the issue the issue was the legal issues that happened with this particular case and the impact that the severe and profound mental illness has on our ability prosecute.”

Godar says she wasn’t told that Stamper was released from the mental health center. The state’s attorney office says it has on record they tried to contact her by phone and never reached her.