Prosecutors seeking death penalty in brutal sexual assault, murd - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Prosecutors seeking death penalty in brutal sexual assault, murder of 75-year-old woman

Posted: Updated:
William Clyde Gibson William Clyde Gibson
Christine Whitis Christine Whitis

By Gary Popp, News and Tribune

NEW ALBANY, IN (News and Tribune) - Accused serial killer William Clyde Gibson III described to police detectives how he killed a 75-year-old woman, mutilated her body, and then went to have a drink at a local restaurant, according to a video interview shown on the first day of his murder trial Monday.

The police interview with Gibson painted a picture of a gruesome crime and a man who was struggling with his demons leading up to the sexual assault and killing of Christine Whitis, a longtime family friend. Gibson's trial began Monday morning in a Floyd County court, where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson told the jury — which was selected in and transported from Dearborn County — that Gibson, 56, sexually assaulted Whitis, Clarksville, before killing the woman in his Woodbourne Drive home in New Albany in April 2012. Henderson said Whitis and Gibson knew each other, as she had been the best friend of Gibson's mother.

The chain of events began when GIbson placed a call to Whitis' cell phone on April 18, 2012.

Gibson reached Whitis about 10:50 a.m., but she was preoccupied with a doctor's visit and called Gibson back minutes after noon, Henderson told the jurors. Henderson claimed Gibson used the pretense that he was grieving from his mother's passing to lure Whitis to his home. He said Gibson treated Whitis as his "prey" after she came to the home to give him support.

During opening remarks, Henderson showed a color photograph of Whitis on a large projection screen and described her as an active, vibrant and healthy widow with a strong relationship with her son and grandchildren.

"She is loved and she loved," Henderson said as he introduced the case to the jurors.

Once Whitis entered Gibson's home, he quickly began his sexual assault, Henderson said.

To read the full story, click here.