82-year old Man Sentenced to Prison for the Murder of Wife's Lover
On January 9, 2020, 240th District Court Judge Frank Fraley sentenced Dennis Patrick Gibson to 16 years in prison for the murder of Vernon Burger and 10 years for the Aggravated Assault of Jacqueline Gibson. The defendant plead guilty to the charges in August 2019, but elected for the court to assess punishment after conducting a pre-sentence investigation. Gibson, an 82 year-old Katy man, was charged with the crimes after shooting both people and killing Burger in November of 2015.
According to Chief Domestic Violence Prosecutor Chad Bridges, Gibson was angry that his wife was involved in an affair with one of his friends. He obtained a handgun, and when his wife and Mr. Burger were leaving the house, he followed them into the driveway. The defendant shot his wife in the back of the head and her arm, and shot Mr. Burger in the stomach. Mr. Burger died from the gunshot wound, but Mrs. Gibson survived. At the scene, Mr. Gibson admitted to shooting both victims with the intent of killing them both. Two neighbors also came forward, having witnessed the shootings, with one providing a surveillance video of the offense.
After reviewing the pre-sentence investigation report, the evidence admitted, and the testimony of numerous witnesses, Gibson was sentenced by the Court to 16 years for the murder of Vernon Burger and 10 years for shooting Jacqueline Gibson. The State had previously agreed to cap the sentences at 16 years, due to the defendant’s advanced age and health.
Chad Bridges stated that “It was not the defendant’s life to take. Engaging in an extra-marital affair is not justification for the defendant taking the law into his own hands and shooting his victims. The remedy for infidelity is divorce, not death. The defendant made a choice and must suffer the consequences of his actions.”
Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life, in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Aggravated Assault of a Family Member in this case is also a first-degree felony. Gibson must serve half of his sentence before he can be considered for parole. Assistant District Attorneys Chad Bridges and Sherry Robinson prosecuted the case.
District Attorney Brian Middleton added, “Gibson was assessed the maximum punishment under our agreement for the death of Mr. Burger. The defendant’s age doesn’t excuse his conduct and a 16-year prison sentence will appropriately punish that conduct, and keep him under parole supervision for the remainder of his life.”