Southern Indiana man sentenced to death again

AP News
Posted: Aug 15, 2014 5:19 PM
Southern Indiana man sentenced to death again

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana man already sentenced to death for killing a family friend and mutilating her body was sentenced Friday to death in the slaying of a second woman whose body was found buried in his backyard.

William Clyde Gibson III, 56, was sentenced to death by Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth in the strangling of 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk of Charlestown, The News and Tribune and The Courier-Journal reported.

Gibson pleaded guilty unexpectedly in June to killing Kirk. Her remains were found in 2012 buried in the backyard of Gibson's New Albany home. Police said during testimony that her back had been broken.

Orth said in her nearly 30-page sentencing order that death was the "only appropriate sentence."

Gibson was sentenced to death last year for the murder of 75-year-old Christine Whitis, whose body was discovered in Gibson's garage days before Kirk's body was found. Both Kirk and Whitis were sexually assaulted after they were killed, police said.

Gibson also was convicted early this year of murder in the death of Karen Hodella of Port Orange, Florida. Her remains were found in Clarksville along the Ohio River. Gibson was sentenced to 65 years in prison for her death.

Defense attorney Patrick Biggs had argued a second death sentence for Gibson was unnecessary. He also cited Gibson's history of alcoholism and bipolar disorder, and his "remorseful" confession as reasons why he shouldn't be sentenced to death for the murder of Kirk.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said following the sentence that the judge didn't see the remorse. He also pointed out a tattoo Gibson got in prison that reads: "Death Row X3," in large letters across the back of his head.

"We can't make someone be sorry," Henderson said. "But what we can do is hold them accountable, and that's what we did."