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Gibbs sentenced to life without parole

A judge has sentenced Moe Gibbs to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murder of Mindy Morgenstern. The sentencing comes one month after a Burleigh County jury convicted the former Barnes County jailer of strangling the 22...

Moe Maurice Gibbs

A judge has sentenced Moe Gibbs to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murder of Mindy Morgenstern.

The sentencing comes one month after a Burleigh County jury convicted the former Barnes County jailer of strangling the 22-year-old with her belt and cutting her throat with two kitchen knives in her Valley City, N.D., apartment.

The trial was Gibbs' second for the murder charge as a jury in Minot, N.D., deadlocked 6-6 this summer over whether the 35-year-old killed Morgenstern. Deliberations in the second trial went longer than those in the first trial, spanning more than 27 hours.

Gibbs, 35, lived in the same apartment building as the Valley City State University student and was arrested a week after Morgenstern's Sept. 13, 2006, slaying.

DNA found under Morgenstern's left-hand fingernails matched Gibbs and linked him to a previously unsolved 2004 Fargo rape. He pleaded guilty to that charge last month and is slated to be sentenced in that case Thursday morning.

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Female inmates at the Barnes County Jail came forward after Gibbs arrest and accused him of sexually assaulting them while working at the facility from May to September 2006. He pleaded guilty last week to six felony charges involving five female inmates and could also be sentenced on that charge Thursday.

Gibbs reached a plea agreement in both the rape and the assaults case calling for him to serve 12 years for the rape and 15 years for the assaults concurrently.

For more on this story, read Tuesday's Forum.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541

Gibbs sentenced to life without parole Brittany Lawonn 20071217

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