Gibson Trial: ME says victim suffered for hours before she died - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gibson Trial: ME says victim suffered for hours before she died

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Graphic testimony continued Thursday in the capital murder trial of William Clyde Gibson III.

Thursday was another difficult day in the court for family members of murder Christine Whitis as the testimony continued in the trial of the man accused of sexually assaulting and killing her in April of 2012.

Prosecutors called Kentucky's Assistant Medical Examiner, Dr. Amy Burrows-Beckham, to testify. She performed the autopsy on Whitis and told jurors she did not die quickly and most likely suffered.

Dr. Beckham's testimony contradicted Gibson's statements to police that he killed her quickly.

Beckham testified that Whitis was dead for as long as 24 hours before her body was discovered in Gibson's garage.

Beckham told jurors Whitis probably died on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, and that she was beaten and sexually assaulted before being strangled. Beckham also testified that Whitis' back was broken and her right breast was cut off as she was dying or shortly after her death.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson says there's a reason for the gruesome details.

"It's important that we show that many of these injuries occurred while she was alive," Henderson said. "Some of those injuries were post-mortem according to the evidence today, but many of those were while she was alive, and that's extremely relevant to this case to show what Ms. Whitis had to go through before her death."

Beckham said Whitis' body was bruised and battered,

One of Whitis' family members left the courtroom during Beckham's testimony, which included graphic pictures. One juror could be seen wiping away tears.

Gibson looked at the graphic autopsy photos but showed no visible reaction.

"Unfortunately, there's no way to whitewash or make look pretty the type of gruesome case that we're dealing with," Henderson said.

Several other witnesses also testified that Whitis left her home on the morning of April 18, 2012, and never returned. The last two phone calls on her cell phone included an incoming call from Gibson on the morning of the 18th and an outgoing call back to Gibson.

After that, there were 31 missed calls.

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case by Friday morning.

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