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Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Slaying of Grandmother

February 08, 1987|JAN KLUNDER | Times Staff Writer

A 23-year-old Inglewood man who stabbed and strangled his maternal grandmother in her Van Nuys apartment in 1983 has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison for manslaughter.

In a written statement included in Van Nuys Superior Court records, Robert Miguel Gibson said he killed his 84-year-old grandmother because he believed that she was causing health and marital problems for his parents.

"The origin of my crime is that I valued the lives and well-being of my parents over that of my grandmother," Gibson wrote. "My distorted emotions were prejudiced by feelings of incredible love and concern for my parents because they were the most important people in the world to me."

Gibson, who was 19 at the time of the killing, said his grandmother constantly criticized family members and dominated their lives, causing both his parents to drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Gibson, who had been charged with murder, pleaded guilty Dec. 4 to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in the April, 1983, death of Florence Williams. He also admitted that he used a deadly weapon during the crime.

Judge James A. Albracht imposed the maximum sentence of 12 years. Gibson will be eligible for parole in about six years.

The killing remained unsolved until December, 1985, when a relative told police that Gibson had confessed to the crime. Gibson later admitted that he had ransacked his grandmother's apartment to make it appear as though a burglar had killed her, court records show.

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