Local News

Teen Who Caused Lawmakers to Rethink System Is Charged Again

Posted August 30, 1998

— A Durham man whose crimes prompted the state to rethink our juvenile justice system is in trouble with the law again.

Police say 20-year old Gregory Gibson killed a convenience store clerk last week. In 1992, he was convicted of beating an elderly woman to death, but because of his age, Gibson was released after serving only 3 years.

If Gibson committed his 1992 crime today, he would be considered an adult. Because of his original crime, legislators lowered the age where someone can be tried as an adult in North Carolina from 14 to 13. Many say we need more changes.

Investigators say last Tuesday Gibson got the money, then killed the clerk, shooting him twice from a few feet away.

"I heard his grandmother say Mr. Gibson used to get beat up on the way to school. So did I, and I'm not out there committing murder. This young man is cold. He just outright killed that man," said Cpl. Fran Borden of the Durham Police Dept.

Prosecutors say Gibson beat a 90-year-old woman to death in 1992. He was 13. The law at the time did not allow someone that young to be tried as an adult.

"The types of crimes we see in juvenile court today are nothing like they were 20 years ago," said Distric Attorney Jim Hardin.

Durham County District Attorney Jim Hardin says everyone in the system thought they'd see Gibson again, and everyone was right.

"It's unfortunate that so many folks could look at this individual and could have seen into the future and said he is going to commit more crime, more serious crime. Yet, the system because of the law that existed, was inadequate to address a lot of the problems in this particular person's background," said Hardin.

The district attorney says he'll try this case himself, which shows you the importance of it. They set a preliminary hearing date of September 11, but Hardin says that'll never happen.

He says he's going straight to the grand jury, which usually indicates that the prosecution thinks it has overwhelming evidence.

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