William Clyde Gibson - IN - 11/26/2014 - SENTENCED

Started by turboprinz, November 26, 2013, 06:16:43 PM

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Execution set in brutal southern Indiana killing
Nov. 26, 2013 11:51 AM
A judge in Floyd County sentenced convicted murderer William Clyde Gibson to death and set a tentative date of Nov. 26, 2014 for his execution Tuesday morning.

Gibson said after Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth announced his execution date that "I deserve what I'm getting. It ain't no big deal."

He asked that the court dispense quickly with his next two murder trials. "It's my right," Gibson told Orth.

In the recently concluded capital murder case, Gibson was accused of strangling and sexually assaulting Clarksville resident Christine Whitis, a family friend and grandmother who'd come to his New Albany home to comfort Gibson following his mother's death.

Investigators testified during last month's trial that the brutality of the 2012 slaying stunned them. Evidence presented in court showed that Gibson strangled Whitis, and broke her ribs and lower spine before cutting off her breast with a kitchen knife and placing it in the glove compartment of the woman's van.

Police tracked down the 56-year-old Gibson at the wheel of Whitis' van at Walmart on Grant Line Road in New Albany, a half mile from the crime scene. Gibson's sister had found Whitis' body dumped beside some garbage bags inside his garage and called police.

Under Indiana law, the death sentence also is automatically appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court. Two additional appeals involving post-conviction review and federal habeas corpus review of constitutional rights also are provided unless a defendant decides to forgo them.

In Indiana, executions are performed with lethal injections.

After reading his sentence at the conclusion of a brief hearing, Orth appeared to choke up as she said, "Mr. Gibson, may God have mercy on your soul."

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said after the proceeding that Gibson clearly has no remorse for the crimes and deserves what he's getting. The man's request for a fast and speedy trial means that the court likely will need to schedule a date within the next six months for his second trial in Kirk's death.

Gibson faces a second death penalty murder of Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, whose body was found buried in Gibson's yard after Whitis' corpse was discovered. A third case, a non-capital murder charge, centers on Karen Hodella, a 44-year-old Florida woman whom Gibson admitted stabbing to death in late 2002.

A jury from Dearborn County was transported to New Albany last month to ensure Gibson received a fair trial from people who weren't exposed to pre-trial publicity about the crimes. Dearborn jurors returned the death penalty after deliberating just 17 minutes on an initial guilt phase of the trial.

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