Andrew Gibson, now 26, submitted a plea agreement with the guidance of his attorney, Gary West.
Division 1 Judge John F. Bosch approved the plea agreement along with county attorney Barry Wilkerson.
Gibson pleaded guilty to second degree murder and issued an Alford plea on the count of child abuse. An Alford plea functions as a guilty plea, but the defendant maintains their innocence regardless of court opinion. Gibson’s minimum sentence would be 32 years and 10 months on both counts running consecutively. Gibson agreed to a motion for upward departure, which means the age of the victim factors into the severity of his sentencing. Upon release, Gibson would have to register as a violent offender for 15 years and have approximately 5 years of post-release supervision.
Gibson last appeared in court last November at a preliminary hearing. Gibson is charged with the death of 3-month-old Serenity Reich, who was found unresponsive on May 5 in Gibson’s apartment on the 500 block of Stone Creek Drive in Manhattan after he called 911.
Gibson was a father figure to Serenity Reich, and had a relationship with the mother that began during her pregnancy. The infant and another child in the apartment were the mother’s from a prior relationship, while the other child was Gibson’s also from a prior relationship. In an interview with a Riley County police detective, Gibson admitted he “was in a bad place.” He was arrested days after Reich’s death and has remained in the county jail since.
An autopsy on Reich concluded she died by asphyxiation when her face was pressed against a mattress. Gibson’s fingernail was removed from the back of the infants head, and the autopsy also revealed Reich to have calcified ribs, meaning her ribs had been broken previously and had began to heal.
Gibson’s sentencing will be held on Monday, June 19 at 3 p.m. in Riley County District Court.
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Source: KMAN Local News