Indiana man's 1st murder trial postponed
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) -- The first murder trial of a New Albany man accused of killing three women will be held next July instead of February.
Floyd Superior Court Judge Susan Orth moved the trial date Thursday to allow more time for William Clyde Gibson's attorneys to prepare a defense.
Prosecutor Keith Henderson objected to the postponement but acknowledged that preparing for the case would be complex, The Courier-Journal of nearby Louisville, Ky., reported.
Gibson is charged in the death of Christine Whitis, whom he is accused of strangling. The 75-year-old was a longtime family friend whose strangled and mutilated body was found in Gibson's garage in New Albany on April 19.
He also is accused of strangling Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, whose remains were found buried in his backyard last spring. Prosecutors also allege that Gibson stabbed Karen Hodella, 44, of Port Orange, Fla., in October 2002. Her body was found three months later near the Ohio River in Clarksville.
Gibson is to be tried in the Whitis case first, followed by the Kirk case. Henderson intends to seek the death penalty in those two cases, but not in the slaying of Hodella.
Henderson said he hopes the first trial will take about three weeks, followed in a few weeks by the second and third.
Orth ruled in October that Gibson was mentally competent to stand trial, so preparations have begun by prosecutors and three separate defense teams assigned to the cases.
Jurors from Dearborn County will be brought in to hear the first murder trial. The court had considered moving the trial to another site.
The jurors will be sequestered in a hotel and won't be allowed to return home on weekends.
Gibson is being held at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)