Condemned man to plead guilty to another slaying

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana man already condemned to death for killing a family friend was expected to offer to plead guilty Thursday in the slaying of a Florida woman, a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor said.

William Clyde Gibson has been charged with murder in the slayings of three women — two from Indiana and one from Florida.

Floyd County prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Esther R. Ragan said in a statement that Gibson was expected to plead guilty under an agreement to a murder charge in the 2002 stabbing death of Karen Hodella of Port Orange, Fla., on her 45th birthday. A hearing for Gibson was scheduled for late Thursday morning in Floyd County Superior Court in New Albany, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky., she said. The judge could accept or deny the plea.

Prosecutor Keith Henderson told WDRB-TV of Louisville, Ky., that the deal would give Gibson a 65-year sentence, the maximum for murder in Indiana other than death or life without parole.

Gibson was convicted last October in the strangling death and mutilation of 75-year-old Christine Whitis, his late mother’s best friend. Prosecutors said Gibson lured Whitis to his New Albany home to perform “a perverse sexual fantasy.”

Gibson also faces a June murder trial in the strangling death of 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk of Charleston, Ind., whose remains were found buried in his New Albany backyard days after his arrest in Whitis’ death.

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