Unrecorded statements in the back of a cruiser made by alleged Trotwood shooter William D. Gibson after police say he shot at officers will be allowed in court, a Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge ruled Thursday.
Gibson, 42, was transported to Montgomery County Jail on Oct. 13, 2017, after a standoff with police following his 911 call in which he said his wife accidentally shot herself in the leg. Gibson had not been given Miranda warnings when he was placed in a Trotwood cruiser.
That’s when Gibson allegedly said, “‘I probably shouldn’t have shot my wife, should I?” according to Trotwood police officer Bethany Morrissette, who testified during a suppression hearing in Judge Dennis Adkins’ courtroom.
“After that, I said, ‘No, you probably shouldn’t have,’ ” Morrissette added. “And I believe I said, ‘You probably shouldn’t have shot at us, either.’ “
Morrissette told assistant Montgomery County prosecutor Meagan Woodall that there is no recording of Gibson’s or her comments after the incident that drew several law enforcement agencies and multiple SWAT teams to Wolf Creek Pike for 2½ hours.
“We tried to get the cruiser camera to work, but we were having difficulties,” said Morrissette, who added Gibson talked about his son’s illness and that drugs he took to find relief from pain didn’t work.
On cross examination, Morrissette told public defender Michael Pentecost that Gibson also said, “I just want to go see a judge tomorrow and plead guilty. I don’t want to spend any time in Montgomery County (Jail), I hate Montgomery County. I know I’m going to prison for a long time.”
Morrissette said she and a fellow officer didn’t use either of their cruisers to transport Gibson to jail because they became evidence after Gibson allegedly fired at officers.
Pentecost said the lack of a recording of the conversation leaves out an impartial piece of evidence. Gibson sometimes shook his head during Morrissette’s testimony.
“It was part of our questioning of the officer, because otherwise we’re left with just the word of the officers,” Pentecost said. “So there’s no independent verification of what was said whether they were questioning him, whether he was responding to questions or what the actual circumstances were surrounding the back and forth.”
Adkins agreed with prosecutors, who said Gibson’s comments were unsolicited and spontaneous.
The judge said he would issue a written decision later and set a scheduling conference for Jan. 17.