David Earl Gibbs, 39, was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday, 23 August, in Huntsville, Texas, for the murder of two mentally ill women in their apartment.
In July 1985, Gibbs, then 24, barged into the Conroe apartment of Marietta Bryant, 29, and Carol Ackland, 46. Both women had mental and emotional health problems and had recently been released from a mental hospital. Bryant was depicted in court testimony as having the emotional maturity of an adolescent. Some reports say that Gibbs, who lived in the same apartment complex, was a nursing aide who worked with mentally ill people. By other reports, he was employed as a maintenance man at the apartments. Gibbs got into an argument with Ackland and forced her to have sex with him. Then, in the words of his written statement to police, "While I was having sex with her, I cut her throat. I don't know why I did it." Next, he raped Bryant and slashed her throat with a butcher knife, and ransacked the place to make it look like the women were killed in a burglary.
The women's bodies were discovered two weeks later by their caseworker, who went to the apartment after becoming concerned that they had not reported to their jobs. Gibbs' fingerprints were found on the entrance the apartment,as well as inside. Police searched Gibbs' apartment and found a pack of cigarettes that matched the brand of a butt found at the murder scene. A radio belonging to one of the dead women was found at Gibbs' girlfirend's home.
Gibbs was arrested at the home of a friend in Cleveland, Texas a month after the killings, and gave police a voluntary statement. He was found guilty of killing Marietta Bryant and sent to death row without being tried for killing Carol Ackland.
Gibbs had been in prison in Michigan from 1978 to 1980 for auto theft. In March 1981, he began serving three years of a five-year sentence in Texas for robbery and theft. He was paroled in January 1984.
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