A 33-year-old man who terrorized his ex-girlfriend’s family in their Irvine home at gunpoint for hours before killing her father and wounding one of her brothers was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Alwyn Gibson was convicted Nov. 13, 2017, of murder for killing 60-year-old De Le and attempted murder for shooting Le’s then-22-year-old son, Michael, on Feb. 20, 2009.
Gibson was acquitted of a second attempted murder charge stemming from the shooting of Le’s wife, 47-year-old Ly Le.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett tacked on 57 years to life in prison on top of the life without parole sentence, effectively ensuring that Gibson will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Gibson’s attorney argued the defendant was a paranoid schizophrenic who was legally insane at the time. But jurors rejected that argument and found he was sane when the crime occurred.
A prosecution expert testified Gibson was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and knew right from wrong and was not delusional at the time.
If Gibson had been found insane, he could have been sent to a mental health facility indefinitely.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough told jurors that Gibson had an “on-again, off-again” relationship with the murder victim’s daughter, Jennifer, who he met through a mutual friend at a party. They moved in together in December 2004 in Mission Viejo, the prosecutor said, but “had a volatile relationship” in which Gibson often displayed signs of jealousy.
They eventually stopped cohabitating, but the relationship continued to be volatile. On the day of the shootings, Gibson showed up at her family’s Irvine home, where she no longer lived, brandishing a .22-caliber rifle and demanding cash, according to Scarbrough.
When Gibson found only a “lucky $2 bill”’ in Ly Le’s purse, he was incensed, Scarbrough said, and the family assured him they would go to an ATM with him to get cash.
Gibson demanded keys to the family’s Mercedes-Benz and another vehicle, Scarbrough said. He said Gibson appeared ready to go to an ATM with the family patriarch, but another family member made a dash for the front door and got to a neighbor’s home to call police.
An incensed Gibson marched the rest of the family upstairs to a darkened master bedroom at gunpoint, the prosecutor said.
De Le’s last words before being shot in the back of the head, according to his wife, were, “Things haven’t gone too far. You haven’t hurt anyone yet. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life in jail,” Scarbrough said.
As Michael Le comforted his mother, Gibson shot him through the neck, using a pillow as a silencer, Scarbrough said, and the victim pretended to be dead.
Ly Le, believing she was going to be killed, bolted for the door and was shot in the arm, Scarbrough said. As the defendant helped her get up, she made another scramble for freedom “into the arms of Irvine police,” the prosecutor said.
Gibson eventually surrendered to police.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: