Brittany Lawonn, Published December 20 2007
Gibbs sentenced for Fargo rape and sex assaults of jail inmates
East Central Judicial District Judge Wade Webb ordered Gibbs to serve 15 years in prison for the six sexual assaults of five female inmates concurrent to serving 12 years in prison for the woman’s rape. However, the sentences are consecutive to Gibbs’ sentence of life without parole for the murder of Mindy Morgenstern last September.
Gibbs will not begin serving time for the rape or the assaults unless something happens to the murder sentence, Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Byers said after the hearing.
Last month, Gibbs, a former Barnes County jailer, pleaded guilty to the woman’s rape under a plea agreement calling for a concurrent sentence with the sexual assaults of five female Barnes County inmates. He pleaded guilty last week to those six felony charges.
Last month, a Burleigh County jury convicted Gibbs of killing Morgenstern, a 22-year-old Valley City State University student, after 27 hours of deliberations.
The finding of Gibbs’ DNA under Morgenstern’s left-hand fingernails linked him to the rape case, which had previously been unsolved. Female inmates began coming forward after his Sept. 20, 2006, arrest for Morgenstern’s Sept. 13, 2006, slaying.
Morgenstern and Gibbs lived in the same apartment building.
For more on this story, read Friday’s Forum. Gibbs sentenced for Fargo rape and sex assaults of jail inmates Brittany Lawonn 20071220