Death sentence ordered for woman’s slaying

By The Associated Press

NEW ALBANY — A southern Indiana man was sentenced to death Tuesday after telling a judge that’s what he deserved for killing his late mother’s 75-year-old best friend.

The death sentence for 56-year-old William Clyde Gibson of New Albany came after the first of possibly three trials on murder charges for deaths of women stretching back to 2002.

A Floyd County jury needed less than 20 minutes last month to reach its guilty verdict against Gibson on charges he sexually assaulted, strangled and mutilated the body of Christine Whitis in April 2012.

Floyd County Superior Court Judge Susan Orth set Gibson’s execution for Nov. 26, 2014.

“I deserve what I’m getting. No question,” Gibson said in court. “It ain’t no big deal.”

Gibson’s death sentence will be automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court.

County Prosecutor Keith Henderson has said the Whitis slaying case is probably the most disturbing he’s ever seen.

“I saw no remorse,” Henderson said after Gibson’s sentencing hearing.

Gibson also is accused of strangling 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk of Charlestown, whose remains were found buried in his New Albany backyard days after his arrest in Whitis’ death, and in the 2002 stabbing death of Karen Hodella, 44, of Port Orange, Fla.

Trials are scheduled for next year in those slayings, with Gibson possibly facing the death penalty in Kirk’s death.

Gibson said in court Tuesday that he wanted speedy trials on those murder charges.
“I don’t want no deal. I want a trial,” he said.

Some in the county just north of Louisville, have questioned Henderson’s decision to pursue those additional trials at a time when the county faces a $2.9 million budget deficit.

The county’s budget troubles are due in part to having spent $2.1 million this year on the third murder trial of onetime state trooper David Camm, who was acquitted last month on charges he killed his wife and two young children. Gibson’s first trial also cost the county an estimated $275,000.

County Councilman Jim Wathen said the possibility of the Whitis trial being overturned by a higher court makes it worth the costs to try Gibson in the other deaths.

“I feel like with everything that came up at the first trial, that the other two will go pretty quick,” he said. “... It could be reversed, and he could never be tried again. We can’t chance that.”

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