NEW ORLEANS — An Orleans Parish jury deadlocked on a murder charge against a 76-year-old man, who had confessed to fatally stabbing his longtime girlfriend, last year.
But the jury, which spent almost seven hours deliberating Wednesday, convicted Seabon Gibson of obstruction of justice for rolling Fannie Campbell's limp body off the roof of his home into the bed of his pickup, dropping her body off in a grassy lot and driving home to mop up the blood.
The New Orleans Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1PBhATF) Judge Franz Zibilich set an Aug. 28 sentencing date for Gibson, who faces up to 40 years in prison on the obstruction count.
It was not immediately clear whether District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office would retry Gibson for murder in the July 20, 2014 killing.
Taking the witness stand on Tuesday, Gibson claimed he was under attack from the 58-year-old Campbell when he wrested a knife from her and began stabbing her indiscriminately, not realizing until later that he'd inflicted mortal wounds.
Gibson told the jury they were both drunk on gin at the time and that he got rid of her body, saying he was out of his head.
Assistant District Attorney Alexis Kyman, trying the case with prosecutor Jason Napoli, seized on Gibson's raspy admission in her closing argument Wednesday.
"This is a woman he had been in a relationship with for decades, a woman who made sure he took his medicine, and he ended up rolling her off the roof into his truck like she was a load of garbage," Kyman said. "He said he was worried about (blood) stains. He wasn't worried about Ms. Campbell rotting in that field covered in blood, covered in flies. No, he was worried about a stain on his floor.
Gibson's attorney, Timothy Yazbeck, noted the couple's history of physical scraps, as well as an April 2014 attack that landed Campbell in jail on an aggravated battery charge.
Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com