Jury finds Gibson guilty of murder in less than 20 minutes - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Jury finds William Clyde Gibson guilty of murder in less than 20 minutes

Posted: Updated:
William Clyde Gibson William Clyde Gibson

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – William Clyde Gibson has been convicted for the murder of his mother's longtime friend, Christine Whitis, 75.

The jury of 12 from Dearborn County, Indiana only needed 17 minutes to find Gibson guilty of murder. As Whitis' family members were leaving the courtroom, one said out loud "Justice is served."

"I think it is at least somewhat of a sense of relief for the victim's families to be able to see 12 independent people reach a verdict of guilty," said Prosecutor Keith Henderson. "Our work is not done because now we have the second phase on Monday."

The prosecution presented its case in four days. It took the defense just one and it took the jury just a matter of minutes to reach a guilty verdict.

Prosecutors urged the jury in closing arguments that the evidence in this case is so overwhelming there's no doubt Gibson killed Whitis, his mother's best friend. Not only was there strong medical evidence, but Gibson's own confession on video and in letters.

Gibson showed no emotion in court as family and even jurors got upset when graphic and horrific photos of Whitis' body were brought up on the screen once again.   Whitis went to Gibson's house on April 189th, 2012 in an effort to help Gibson deal with his mother's death, but instead prosecutors say Gibson put Whitis through hell before he killed her and he continued to abuse her after.

Whitis was sexually assaulted in a violent attack and her right breast was removed after her death.

Her body was discovered in Gibson's garage by his sisters the next day. Gibson was arrested later that day in Whitis' van.

Gibson's blood alcohol level was .23 when he was arrested. Defense attorney, J. Patrick Biggs argued that Gibson had been drinking ever since his mother passed away a few months prior.

Biggs told the jury that Gibson was not in the right state of mind on April 188th. He said he hadn't slept in days and was drunk and high on marijuana.

Henderson says this was the most gruesome and disturbing murder he's ever had to prosecute.

"We're confident if there was ever a case that was relevant for the death penalty to be filed it would be this one," said Gibson.

The defense did not wish to speak to the media throughout this trial. The sentencing phase starts on Monday at 9:00 a.m. Henderson expects it will take two to three days.

The jury must now decide is Gibson should get the death penalty, life without parole, or a year sentence.

The only way Judge Susan Orth could overrule is if they decide on a year sentence.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.