Verdict delayed until Monday in Martin murder trial

Jurors will go home for the weekend and return at 8:30 a.m. Monday to decide the fate of Michael Martin, accused of murdering 25-year-old Amanda Gibson last summer.
Sarah Weber
Feb 25, 2011


Jurors will go home for the weekend and return at 8:30 a.m. Monday to decide the fate of Michael Martin, accused of murdering 25-year-old Amanda Gibson last summer.

The jury began deliberating Thursday morning following closing arguments in the week-long trial.

They ended at 4 p.m., resumed deliberations today and then were sent home at 4 p.m. for the weekend. They'll return Monday.

Prosecutors say Martin, 54, strangled Gibson on June 7 and dumped her body by a rural pond along Smith Road in southern Erie County.

If the jury finds him guilty of murder, Martin faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. He could also be sentenced to five years on each of two counts of tampering with evidence.



that's what I think

Strange the defence called no witnesses or character witnesses. Not one person!


First... I think it is spelled "defense".

Second... The defense attorney seemed incredibly sharp to me, and I remember him saying in opening statements if the State failed to prove their case then he would call no witnesses.

Third... What happened to the right not to testify?

It is really clear to me at this point that the State failed to prove their case.  From the arguments made by the Prosecutor and the Defense Counsel it is really clear that Martin's phone was in Bellevue while the girl's phone was in Sandusky moving south.  If his phone was already south, how could her's be north?

Also, why did the Prosecutor's hide witnesses and not call the Verizon cell phone people to back up their story?  Were they afraid of something?


I don't know, but for the way he tried to pin this on the Outlaws, he may be safer going to jail.


This punk has tried to put his bad off on some rightous Brothers. 


Without his own admission of guilt the prosecutuion has nothing but abuse of a corpse by moving her body.


Then he grabs his current girlfriend and goes to an outlaw party after saying they were out to kill him??


They only have an admission to moving the body... nothing else... right?


I agree.... if I were him I would not want to get out and let the outlaws get ahold of me.  They are bad, bad news.

I have no idea if the guy did it, or is guilty of the murder.  If I were locked up in a holding cell and I did not do it, I would be trying to point the finger at others too.  I think that is the key here.  He knew the outlaws hated him... McClosky was a prospect for them, who testified he was at Martin's house minutes before Gibson supposedly died...and suddenly McCloskey is patched in?

I dont know... but frankly, I agree with you on what's going to happen to him.


He admitted to being with her around the time she died, he admitted that her dead body was in HIS garage and he admitted to MOVING her corpse because he got scared...if the prosecution cant win this one, we need a new prosecutor!!!  


We need a new prosecutor for a lot of reasons.  Actually having listened to this trial and been there every day it became really clear to me that the prosecutor withheld evidence of this guy's innocence.

I think what happened here was the prosecutor was told this was a slam dunk of a case by the detectives.  The detectives thought that this cleveland criminal defense attorney named Patituce was going to be a push over and they did not tie up lose ends, and they did not think he would mount a defense.  It turns out that Patituce is one of the better defense attorneys around and that he absolutely destroyed the detectives when they testified.

I watched most of the 16 hours that the first detective was on the stand for.  The most devestating question I saw him answer/admit was when the defense attorney asked:

Patituce: "Do you have ANY evidence that my client tampered with Amanda Gibson's phone?"

Detective: "No, there is no evidence that I know of that he tampered with her phone."

I mean... come on... if Martin killed Gibson and then took/hid her phone, isnt that evidence in and of itself right there?  Both detectives admitted that the case was really weak.  At the end of the day the prosecutor tried to gloss over the really weak case that he has, and he hopes that the jury like most Erie juries will simply believe him.

It appears that this jury might be seeing the truth... and the truth is the prosecutor failed.



You're right your county definitely needs a new county prosecutor.

As there is abundance of evidence that proves Kevin Baxter has been linked to numerous cases of tampering with evidence, sham legal process, malicious prosecution, falsification, conspiracy, and theft of in office.

Needless to say, Mr. Dewine's office is currently investigating ole Kevy.

Julie R.

Baxter isn't the only one that needs to go ---- so does McGookey and Binette. Especially McGookey ---- along with her staff! 


Julie and West... I hope the jury sends the right message here... Not only do we need a new prosecutor, but we need to put an end to bad police work. 

We also need to be glad that there are defense attorneys like this willing to come into this place and defend us and not just cave in and make their clients plea.

that's what I think

If the outlaws hated him, why kill her? He was right there. He spent 45 minutes doing laundry, taking a bath, watching tv, he was less than 25 feet away. Also  there were 2 boxes why not walk in the garage get them put them in the truck and take her home, why leave her in the garage for 45 minutes?He told detectives he barely knew her, they tell him they found her body, but not her cell phone. When they leave he calls her phone twice, why  could it be he was trying to find it in his truck?Closing statements are not fact, they are not evidence, the judge warns that they are statements. So that is when Martin's lawyer made the statement that Mr Mc Closkey got his patch after her murder. He did not say that years before Mr McCloskey had been with that club and quit b/c of his wife and health issues. He did not ask him while he had him on the stand.I think it is important that he also accused other people. If his attorney thought these other witnesses were important why did'nt he call them to the stand. Is it b/c their whereabouts had already been checked out?His story changed many times in nine months, but he admitted to dumping her body. So the outlaws come to your house kill a girl in your garage, you dump her body and go to the fair grounds to drink and party knowing that they are there. That more than a hundred of them are there. How worried could he have been?Of 22 witnesses Martin's lawyer waited until closing to dispute what each of them had to say. He did not mention that none of the Sandusky outlaws have been convicted of any felonies, but that his client was convicted of credit card and id theft.Martin's lawyer did not have one person that could say he was a good person? Even Ted Bundy had people say he was of good character. Could it be that Martin lied , stoled,used and owed eveyone he knew? Martin did not take the stand b/c he had no answers for the questions he would be asked.He wnt to his shrink's office with her body in the truck.


@ Thinks

All good points, however, how do you explain the simple fact that Martin's cell phone is in southwest Erie and Gibson's cell phone is still in Sandusky?

You also seem to have information that I did not hear presented at trial?  At no point in the trial did anyone testify that Martin called her phone twice after police left... in fact it seemed really clear to me that the police had Martin's cell phone as Detective Kostopolis testified that Martin was in custody when Martin's phone was dialing.

Of course Detective Oliver tried to "clear that up" by testifying that his partner was wrong.  Detective Oliver was also exposed as being a liar... remember, Oliver testified that they never recovered the victim's phone, however, there is clearly a recording that states "Hey, did you take care of that?"  "Yeah"  "Okay.  Here's her phone."

How do you explain that?  How can you trust any part of the invest?

that's what I think

observer32, There are alot of unanswered questions. Could her phone been in his garage where it was dropped when he moved her body? The witness protection story. If he really thought he was in danger, and found her body why did'nt he call the ATF agent who testified, or the police and say look they are after me and just killed her? I think the way the case was presented left alot of questions, but at the end of the day, I think his lies don't add up. Her family deserves peace and she deserves justice.My friend asked his ex wife , why did'nt they ask you what the US marshals said? She said they could'nt because the answer was part of a felony case he had a few years before and was not allowed.She said the only way she could answer those questions was if he took the stand or if his lawyer opened the door. So maybe they did not hide witnesses, they just could'nt ask the questions.


I think there are a lot of unanswered questions... I mean, first how was her phone in a completely different place than his AND her phone was moving - this tells me that it was not just sitting in his garage, or on the ground somewhere.

I watched the ex-wife's testimony, she seemed completely dishonest and selfish.  She struck me as the kind of person that would just take what she wants, when she wants - for example the bikes that she scrapped for money.

According to the testimony the defendant DID call, and try to call, the ATF agent... so based on your argument he did try.

Also, and I think most important is that the defendant does not have to prove anything.  He does not need to make things "add up", it is only the prosecutor that has to.  Here, the prosecutor has not proven anything yet that I have seen - other than the body moving.

that's what I think

Observer32 The jury believed he was guilty....AS far as his ex you don't know her. He owes her over 80 grand, the bike she sold was not his! She is making the payments on the other bike, because he was going into the witnesses protection program ( his words) give the stuff to his girlfriend and sister, she did that. Before you make judgements know the facts. You have'nt thought much or said anything nice about anyone involved. Why is that?