Suspected serial killer to be tried in Floyd Co.

Published: Sep. 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2012 at 6:17 PM EDT
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William Clyde Gibson (Source: Floyd County Jail)
William Clyde Gibson (Source: Floyd County Jail)

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – A judge ruled on Friday that suspected serial killer William Clyde Gibson will be tried in Floyd County, IN, but jurors will be selected in Dearborn County, IN. Dearborn County is in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky metropolitan area.

Gibson is accused of killing three women in southern Indiana over a ten year time span. He faces the death penalty in two of the murders.

Gibson is charged with murdering Christine Whitis, 75, a family friend from Clarksville, IN; Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, IN; and Karen Hodella, 44, of Port Orange, FL. Whitis' body was found in the garage of Gibson's New Albany home in April, and Kirk's was later found buried in Gibson's backyard.

On Friday, Gibson's defense filed a motion for a change of venue stating that Gibson would not receive a fair trial in Floyd County because of the extensive media coverage.

"We did not agree with moving the trial in whole outside of the county, but we did agree that to ensure a fair trial that we did not object to jurors being brought in from an outside county," said Prosecutor Keith Henderson, Floyd County.

Henderson says Dearborn County was decided upon partly because it is similar to Floyd County in size.

The jury will most likely be selected a couple weeks in advance of Gibson's trial. "We're asking a lot out of a juror to come to another county and to be sequestered for a period of time for a case of this seriousness," said Henderson.

Christine Whitis' Son, Mike Whitis, has known Gibson for years. "I'm trying not to hate," said Whitis. "It's difficult not to, but I have a lot of really strong emotions."

He makes it a point to be at every court hearing. "There's a connection there to mom somehow, it's kind of weird and hard to explain, but I want to see him and I can't say anymore than that," said Whitis.

Whitis says he was pleased with the judge's ruling to keep the trial in Floyd County. "You have to take in account the family," said Whitis. "I've got four children and grandchildren and mom had a lot friends and they're people that are going to want to come and see this."

Gibson is due back in court in October. His trial is expected to start on February 18, 2013.

At the next hearing two medical experts are expected to present their findings that Gibson is competent to stand trial. The judge will make the final ruling.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.