Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Earl Gibbs Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on David Earl Gibbs who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m., Wednesday, August 23.

David Earl Gibbs was convicted and sentenced to death for the July 1985 murder of 29 year-old Marietta Bryant. Gibbs raped and murdered Bryant and her roommate, Carol Ackland. Gibbs worked and lived at the Conroe, Texas apartment complex where Bryant and Ackland lived. Both women were outpatients of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR).

The MHMR caseworker assigned to Bryant and Ackland alerted police after he had been informed that neither of the women had shown up at work for several days. When police, the caseworker and family members of Bryant arrived at the women's apartment, they found Bryant and Ackland dead inside. Their bodies were in an advanced stage of decomposition. Both women's throats were cut. Forensic evidence connected Gibbs to the murders and he was arrested soon thereafter.

EVIDENCE

  • Gibbs was arrested after police searched his apartment and found a pack of cigarettes that were the same brand as the cigarette butt found at the murder scene.
  • Police went to the residence of Wanda McNeil, a friend of Gibbs. There they found a radio that belonged to Bryant.
  • Gibbs gave a written statement to police admitting to the rape and murder of Marietta Bryant and her roommate Carol Ackland.
  • Gibbs' fingerprints were found on the inside of the front entrance of the door to Bryant and Ackland's apartment. His fingerprints were also found on a band-aid box taken from the crime scene.
  • Police found a pair of boots in Gibbs' apartment with human blood on them.
  • Police interviewed a friend of Gibbs who had been with him the night of the murders.
  • Gibbs' friend told police that Gibbs was wearing boots that night and that Gibbs left the bar around midnight. The friend told police that when Gibbs returned, he was wearing different clothes and shoes.

APPEALS TIME-LINE

  • June 19, 1991- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Gibbs' conviction and death sentence.
  • Feb. 12, 1992 - Supreme Court denied his petition for writ of certiorari.
  • Mar. 16, 1992 - Trial court set an execution date of April 20, 1992.
  • April 16, 1992 - Gibbs filed his first application for state writ of habeas corpus. On the same day, the trial court modified Gibbs' execution date to June 2, 1992.
  • May 27, 1992 - Trial court stayed Gibbs' execution pending its resolution of his state habeas application.
  • Aug. 1, 1994 - Trial court recommends that relief be denied.
  • Oct. 12, 1994 - Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief by written order.
  • Jan. 17, 1995 - Trial court set Gibbs' execution date for July 18, 1995.
  • July 5, 1995 - Gibbs files his second state habeas application.
  • July 14, 1995 - Trial court recommends that relief be denied.
  • July 15, 1995 - Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief and denied stay of execution.
  • July 17, 1995 - Gibbs filed a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus and requested a stay of execution. The district court stayed Gibbs' execution on the same day.
  • May 15, 1997 - District court entered final judgment denying habeas relief.
  • July 29, 1997 - District court denied permission to appeal.
  • Sept. 8, 1998 - Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied permission to appeal.
  • Jan. 25, 1999 - Gibbs filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court which was denied on April 26, 1999. Gibbs then filed his third state habeas application.
  • April 5, 1999 - Court of Criminal Appeals found that the application was properly filed and remanded to the trial court. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing and recommended on Feb. 8, 2000 that relief be denied.
  • April 5, 2000 - Court of Appeals denied Gibbs' subsequent habeas application as an abuse of the writ.
  • July 5, 2000 - Gibbs filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court. Gibbs also sought permission to file a second federal habeas writ from the Fifth Circuit on June 28, 2000. Both cases are currently pending.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

Gibbs was previously convicted of theft of a motor vehicle, auto theft, robbery and burglary. He was jailed in Michigan for the theft of a motor vehicle charge and was jailed in Texas for the robbery conviction. In 1990, while in jail for Ms. Bryant's rape and murder, Gibbs was also convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing another death row inmate. Gibbs received a 20 year sentence for that homicide.

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

08/30/00 Jeffery Caldwell (Dallas County)
09/13/00 Miguel A. Richardson (Bexar County)
10/04/00 Stacey Lamont Lawton (Smith County)
11/01/00 Jeffrey Dillingham (Tarrant County)
11/08/00 Gary Wayne Etheridge (Brazoria County)
11/09/00 Miguel Angel Flores (Hutchinson County)
11/15/00 Tony Chambers (Smith County)
12/05/00 Gary Dean Miller (Jones County)

MISCELLANEOUS

If this execution is carried out it will be the 230th execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 66th since General Cornyn took office.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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