In Chesterfield County Circuit Court in Virginia a physician was sent to state prison last Monday, after being found guilty of Murder of his girlfriend - a 26-year-old woman named Zulma Pabon - in June, 2014.
Doctor John E. Gibbs III was sentenced to 50 years in prison - a term recommended as punishment last year - when he was convicted by a 12-person jury last December 7. His longtime girlfriend disappeared on June 7, 2014, and her body has never been found.
“The doctor murdered her and then he disposed of her body. That’s what makes this a 50-year case.” Prosecutor Erin Barr.
During the trial, the prosecution assembled a jaw-dropping circumstantial evidence case, involving Gibbs's cellphone records; the GPS tracking of the doctor's car; his internet searches for "how to make ether” and "how to disappear", In the week of Ms. Pabon's disappearance, Gibbs bought an unexplainably large volume of drain cleaner and acid. And finally, security video caught the murderous doctor in numerous lies.
Nurse Zulma Pabon was murdered on June 7, 2014. Her body was "probably" disposed of in a vat of acid
After the trial - which went on for 8 days last December - the jury of 3 men and nine women found the doctor guilty of First Degree Murder, affirming that the prosecution proved with significant circumstantial evidence alone, that Gibbs had killed Ms. Pabon. with neither her body nor a true cause of death revealed.
At the sentencing hearing Judge David E. Johnson rejected a defense motion to set aside the jury verdict, saying he could only do so if the jury's finding had been, “plainly wrong”.
Prosecutors dismissed the defense claim that the victim was unstable. Her sister testified that Ms. Pabon was not depressed in the weeks before she went missing; that she was planning to leave Gibbs, and was excited about starting her new life.
The sentencing ended the 4-year mystery of whatever happened Ms. Pabon, an immigrant from Puerto Rico who suddenly disappeared. She had met Gibbs while on the job as a nurse. Pabon was a nurse at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.
Here's another look at this appalling doctor-murder case: