Jury recommends death for southern Indiana man

William Clyde Gibson

A jury has recommended a southern Indiana man's execution for the murder of his late mother's best friend.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated less than four hours Tuesday before recommending death for William Clyde Gibson of New Albany in the April 2012 slaying of 75-year-old Christine Whitis. The judge has the final say in Gibson's sentence.

Prosecutors say Gibson lured Whitis to his home to perform "a perverse sexual fantasy."

The same jury took less than 20 minutes Friday to convict Gibson. The jury was brought in from Dearborn County, about 100 miles northeast of New Albany, because of extensive media coverage.

In order for the jury to even consider the death penalty, the state had to prove that there was at least one aggravating factor during the time of the murder of Whitis.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Keith Henderson said the death penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst and asked the jury to give Whitis and this community justice.

The defense used their expert testimony from Monday to argue to the jury that Gibson battles bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and subtance abuse.

Mike Whitis, the victim's son, says they weren't sure it was going to happen, but this is what they were hoping for.

"He's a pretty icy person. I have no feelings for him one way or the other. He is a plague on society and I'm glad he is going to go away," said Whitis.

"If this case isn't a death penalty case, then what is?" asked Henderson. "I think the facts dictated that the defendants did this to himself and I think they reached the correct verdict."

Gibson still faces murder trials in connection with the slayings of two other women. The death penalty is possible in one of those cases.