EBENSBURG, CAMBRIA COUNTY—-It took a jury about four hours to convict Demetrius Gibson of murder in the third degree for stabbing Elizabeth Miller.
"Obviously we were hoping we could do a little better,” said Defense Attorney Thomas M. Dickey. “But it's a victory he won't have to spend the rest of his life in jail.”
Gibson had no comment and did not show any emotion as the verdict was read. The prosecution was seeking a first degree conviction but is satisfied with third.
“We are pleased with the verdict,” said Wayne Langerholc, Assistant District Attorney. “We convicted him of murder.”
The 22 year old has been on trial for four days in the August 2013 stabbing death of Elizabeth Miller his girlfriend. He told the judge Wednesday morning it was his decision that he did not want to testify in his own defense. The defense rested its case right after and only called four witnesses to the stand the day prior.
The defense presented during its 1 hour and 20 minute closing that Miller was the aggressor in the relationship and she was the violent one always hitting Gibson. They also called out the prosecutions key witness, the victim’s brother, Quinn Miller who saw Gibson stab his sister- stating testimony was shaky. Finally, the defense kept asking the jury to think about science versus emotion. He said his client’s DNA was never found on the knife used to kill the victim.
“The defense hung their hat in my opinion on DNA on the cord handle,” said Langerholc. “For the jury to accept that they would have had to thrown out all other evidence including the 9-1-1 call, the knife, the witnesses—but they didn’t and the verdict was murder.”
The prosecution spent an hour on its closing. Langerholc told the jury it was “pathetic for the defense” to question the victim’s brother’s testimony who saw his sister die in front of him and he frantically did everything he could to help her. They also said this was a domestic violence case and Gibson supposedly threaten Miller’s life hours before the murder stating, “Do you want to die tonight?” The prosecution ended by saying ‘Gibson carried through on his words and killed her.”
The defense said they’re relieved Gibson won’t go to jail for life but no one is a clear winner.
“It’s sad, it’s a worthless loss of life and two families affected,” said Dickey.
A sentencing date has not been set, but is expected within 90 days. Dickey said he will look at appeal options based on the DNA evidence.
Gibson could face anywhere from 20-40 years in jail.