Serial killer Gibson receives second death sentence in third mur - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Serial killer Gibson receives second death sentence in third murder case

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A judge has sentenced William Clyde Gibson to death for the murder of Stephanie Kirk. 

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Susan Orth Judge detailed the gruesome manner in which Gibson killed Kirk, sexually assaulting her before breaking her back and burying her in his back yard. 

Orth has already set a date for Gibson's execution: exactly one year from today; however, that date is subject to change based on appeals. 

Gibson is already serving time for the deaths of Christine Whitis and Karen Hodella. He received the death penalty for Whitis's  murder, and 65 years for Hodella's murder. 

In early June, Gibson pleaded guilty to the murder of Stephanie Kirk. Her body was found buried in the backyard of Gibson's New Albany home in April of 2012. 

At Gibson's sentencing hearing in July, in an attempt to avoid the death penalty, his attorneys and family members talked about Gibson's difficult childhood with an alcoholic father, which led Gibson to his own drinking problems and mental health issues. Ultimately, the testimony did not sway Judge Orth, who said there is no diagnosis for Gibson's conduct in this case. 

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson was pleased with the sentence. 

"In our society, the acts of this defendant were the worst of the worst," Henderson said. "And it deserved our ultimate penalty."

During Friday's proceedings, Kirk's family members became emotional as some of the details of her death were discussed. After waiting more than two years, Kirk's family says the sentence was exactly what they wanted to hear. 

"Maybe now I can clean out her room a little bit, and put some things in order, and we can go forward a little bit," said Stephanie Kirk's father, Tony Kirk. "It doesn't bring her back, but at least she's got justice."

Stephanie Kirk leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, Sabrina. Tony Kirk says she is still struggling with her mother's death. 

"What can I say, she has good days and bad days," Tony Kirk said. "It's really affected her. We just take it one day at a time."

As for this day, Tony Kirk planned to "just go out and stay away from the house for a little while, and enjoy the sunlight and beautiful day in justice and know that Gibson is not enjoying that. 

All three cases will be automatically appealed to the state supreme court. In the meantime, Gibson will return to Death Row in Michigan City, Indiana. 

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