Judge grants delay in William Clyde Gibson trial - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge grants delay in William Clyde Gibson trial

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Another delay in the case of accused serial killer William Clyde Gibson. Gibson's trial for the first of his three alleged victims has been pushed back again.

It's the third time Gibson's trial has been delayed. The defense says it needs more time to prepare, and today the judge agreed.

Gibson was to stand trial on July 15 for the murder of 75-year-old Christine Whitis. Whitis had been strangled; her dismembered body found in Gibson's garage in April of last year.

Gibson's public defender, J. Patrick Biggs, told Judge Susan Orth that he needed more time to prepare his defense.

The prosecution objected, saying the trial has already been delayed three times.

"We just know that we're prepared to go. We've been providing discovery throughout the last year-and-a-half to them. Really, the bulk of the discovery, everything they probably needed was given to them last summer," said Floyd Co. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen.

But Judge Orth granted the defense request, saying a death penalty case such as this requires more preparation time, what she called a higher standard of due process. She set a new trial date for September 23rd.

Whitis' son is not happy about another delay.

"We don't know at this point if this is even going to give us any closure. You talk about closure, I don't know where closure comes from this. But you keep hoping that something's going to happen, it's going to be finished, and then getting it delayed just keeps the family in limbo," said Mike Whitis.

"They're looking to the criminal justice system to provide them some sort of comfort, and sometimes we just don't provide that to them," said Owen.

Defense Attorney Biggs would not comment following the hearing.

Gibson had been a close friend of the Whitis family.

"Just a lot of questions. And hopefully some of those questions will be answered in the trial," said Whitis.

But will that trial finally happen in September, or could the judge grant further delays?

"She has a duty to make sure that this sort of super due-process is afforded Mr. Gibson. I do think it's a pretty firm date, though. But I can never say never," said Owen.

The jury in the case is being selected from Dearborn County, Indiana and brought to New Albany. Owen says any further delay could hamper that process.

Judge Orth also set a January 20th date for Gibson's second trial, that for the murder of Stephanie Kirk.

The date for the third murder trial, for the killing of Karen Hodella, has not been set.

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