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Auxier to decide on Gibson sentencing after evidence review
Thursday, March 06, 2014 10:00 AM
Arguments were presented during a sentencing hearing for a Lexington man convicted of attacking a man for testimony he provided in an unrelated case.
Garry A. Gibson, 48, appeared in court for his sentencing hearing Wednesday. Judge Darrell Auxier said he would make a ruling at a later date after reviewing the evidence from the hearing and the jury trial.
A jury convicted Gibson of aggravated battery, a Class B felony; criminal confinement, a Class B felony; and battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class C felony. Due to possible double jeopardy implications, the two battery charges were consolidated into one charge: Class B felony aggravated battery.
Gibson was one of two men who attacked John Taulbee in what police call a retaliatory attack after information Taulbee provided to police led to Gibson's stepdaughter's arrest.
Gibson testified he is out of work and the only income he receives is a Social Security disability check for heart and back problems.
Gibson's family requested he be placed on house arrest so he could continue to receive disability and to ensure he could get medical care if needed.
Stephen Beardsley, Gibson's attorney, requested the minimum sentence of six years due to the undue hardship it would create on his family and his health concerns. Beardsley also said Taulbee instigated the situation and Gibson should receive a lesser sentence in light of that.
Prosecutor Chad Lewis argued Gibson should receive the maximum sentence in prison - 20 years. He disagreed with Beardsley's arguments for a reduced sentence, saying they should be disregarded.
Lewis said the biggest factor in his sentence recommendation was the circumstances surrounding the case and the fact that a state's witness was the victim of the crime.
"This case was all a basis of retaliation," Lewis said, adding that this was not only an attack on Taulbee, but also "an attack on the criminal justice system as a whole."
Taulbee was under a court order to testify, and Lewis said by attacking Taulbee it was striking fear into anyone who might be called upon to testify in court.
Lewis also said he felt Gibson would be capable of doing a similar act again.
Lt. Det. Jonathon Simpson testified about several calls Gibson made while incarcerated at the jail. In the calls, Gibson makes several statements Simpson believed indicated he wanted to beat Taulbee again or beat people who intended to testify in his case.
Gibson also said something that Simpson said he interpreted as having witnesses keeping their stories straight.
Other factors Lewis pointed out were that it was a crime of violence with a small child present and that Gibson has a lengthy criminal history that spans more than 25 years.
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