Southern Indiana serial killer faces sentencing in third murder - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern Indiana serial killer faces sentencing in third murder case

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Prosecutors are seeking another death sentence for southern Indiana serial killer William Clyde Gibson. 

Gibson pleaded guilty to the murder of Stephanie Kirk in early June and it'll be up to Judge Susan Orth to decide his fate. Kirk's body was found two years ago buried in the backyard of Gibson's New Albany home. 

Gibson has already pleaded guilty to the murder of Karen Hodella, and he was convicted at trial of killing Christine Whitis. He received the death penalty for Whitis' murder.

"We're on the third one, and we intend on seeing that through and hopefully giving some closure to these victims' families," Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said Monday at the sentencing hearing. 

After reviewing evidence and listening to testimony, Judge Orth will weigh aggravating and mitigating factors in determining Gibson's sentence. Prosecutors gave an opening statement Monday and called their witnesses. They hope to prove Gibson deserves the death penalty. 

"We're going to look at the brutality of this case," Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen said in court. Owen says Gibson confessed to sexually assaulting Kirk after killing her. The state claims her murder is similar to that of Whitis. 

Gibson and members of Kirk's family listened to two New Albany police officers, a parole officer and medical examiner testify about the case. Photos of Kirk's body were shown in court. 

"I regret that any family member, whether you're a daughter, dad or sister, in this case would have to see that," Henderson said. 

While the Kirk family declined to speak with the media, prosecutors say they had support from the loved one of another one of Gibson's victims. "Mike Whitis wants to support the Kirk family. He believes they have something in common. They've suffered great loss," Henderson said. 

Gibson didn't show emotion in court. His head was shaved and the "Death Row 3X" tattoo was very visible. Gibson's defense attorneys will have the opportunity to call their witnesses to the stand Tuesday. The hearing is expected to wrap up around Thursday but it could be a few more weeks before the judge announces her decision. 

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