A Tulsa man who was convicted last month of killing a Calumet woman and her 5-year-old son will pay the ultimate price for his crimes.
A Canadian County jury deliberated about 4 1/2 hours Thursday before sentencing Derek Don Posey to death in the slayings of Amy Gibbins, 22, and her son, Bryor. The two were killed on Father’s Day 2013 at their home.
“We’re extremely happy the jury made the right decision and found Posey guilty on all counts. In the sentencing stage, we simply wanted to make sure they had all of the information they needed to make a decision, and then we trusted them to speak for our citizens about what an appropriate sentence in this case is,” said Assistant District Attorney Austin Murrey.
“The evidence is clear that Posey presents an ongoing threat to our community.”
“Six years is a long time to wait for justice. It’s been an honor to represent the state in this case, and we’re happy that Amy and Bryor’s family have finally received the justice they deserve,” said Assistant District Attorney John Salmon.
Posey sat stoically behind the defense table Thursday as his attorneys urged the jurors to consider sentencing him to life in prison.
Posey was accused of breaking into the home during the early morning of June 16, 2013, forcing Gibbins to give up her debit card, raping her and beating her to death. He then set the house on fire with both Gibbins and her son still inside.
In his closing statement, defense attorney John Brown urged the jurors to show mercy for Posey because of his early life.
Brown argued that Posey and his twin brother, Erick, had lived with their grandmother until they were about 6. When the grandmother died, they were forced to move to live with their mother, who abused and neglected them.
He said the brothers often were severely beaten by their mother, and frequently left without food.
Brown suggested that his client’s rough upbringing, in which he never developed family ties, eventually led him to a life of crime.
“You hold Derek Posey’s life in your hands,” Brown said. “We don’t agree on what the sentence should be. Life in prison without parole is sufficient. We are not asking you to forgive Derek, but we are asking for mercy, compassion and understanding.”
However, prosecutors disagreed, saying that Posey was a career violent criminal, whose first arrests came at 14 when he robbed a convenience store with a gun, hit a clerk in the head and then pointed the weapon at a bystander.
Posey also was accused of sexually assaulting a girl, for which he was not charged.
He was charged and later cleared in a burglary and rape in Tulsa.
While in jail, Posey was involved in at least two altercations, though no charges were ever brought in connection with those incidents.
Murrey told the jurors that Posey did not deserve mercy for the deaths of Amy and Bryor.
“Their deaths were heinous, atrocious and cruel,” Murrey said.
He also said it was time for the scales of justice to be balanced.
“Right the scales and give this man justice,” Murrey pleaded.
Posey’s trial began in March. More than 70 witnesses testified during the trial and hundreds of exhibits were shown. The jury deliberated less than three hours before finding him guilty in the deaths.
Posey was originally linked to the deaths after a bank clerk, reviewing videos from an ATM, noticed him using Gibbins’ debit card. The time-stamp showed that he used the debit card at an El Reno bank at approximately the same time that firefighters were battling the fire at her home.
Authorities originally believed the fire was an electrical fire, but a later investigation showed that it had been set using a mixture of oil and gasoline.
Gibbins’ autopsy also showed that she had died before the fire began. Posey’s DNA was found inside Gibbins’ body, indicating that she had been raped.
Her body was found in a bedroom where Bryor slept. Bryor’s body was found in a living room area. He died as a result of the fire.
Formal sentencing is set for July 22 at which time Associate District Judge Bob Hughey will formally sentence Posey.