Wife, son arrested in Peoria man's murder

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 3:31 PM

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Police have arrested the wife and teenage son of a Peoria man found dead in his garage on March 1.

Michelle Dawn Gibson, 41, was arrested Thursday and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on one count each of conspiring to commit murder in the first degree, conspiracy and hindering prosecution in the first degree. She is being held without bond.

Steven Gibson Jr. was arrested Wednesday and is being tried as an adult. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree murder, abandonment or concealment of a dead body and hindering prosecution in the first degree.

Michelle Gibson called police at around 2 a.m. on March 1 and said her husband was dead and lying in the garage. She said there was blood everywhere and she did not know what happened.

Police previously arrested Erik McBee, 16, in the beating and stabbing death of Steven Gibson Sr., 39. He was charged as an adult for first-degree murder and conspiracy.

McBee claimed that he went upstairs and was confronted by Gibson, who shoved him and punched him in the face. McBee told police that he hit Gibson with an aluminum baseball bat then stabbed him with a knife.

After an extensive investigation, Peoria police say McBee did not act alone in the murder as he originally stated. Police allege that Gibson's wife and son planned the murder at least one week prior to it occurring.

According to court documents, on the day of the murder, McBee, Gibson Jr., a 16-year-old male friend and a 14-year-old female friend were at the family's home near 75th Avenue and Thunderbird Road where they had a discussion with Michelle Gibson about killing her husband.

She allegedly told them they needed to kill him before he killed her or her son. She reportedly handed the male friend a handgun and told him to use it to kill her husband. Court records state that Gibson offered McBee and the friend $2,000 cash to split between them once her husband was dead.

The male friend's mother picked him up from the house and he did not mention the murder plot to her. He did not return to the house.

According to court records, the plan was to kill Gibson on the night of March 1, but the plan changed when Michelle and Steven got into an argument the night before. McBee was spending the night in the family's home when the argument occurred and the couple's son reportedly told him they had to do it that night.

Michelle Gibson and her 17-year-old daughter left the house to go shopping at several stores and while they were gone, McBee allegedly hit Steven Gibson Sr. with a baseball bat three times while he was asleep in bed.

Court records say that Gibson Jr. was in the house when the murder started but then ran out to an unknown location.

McBee walked back upstairs to check on Gibson's condition and found him in the bathroom holding a sock to his head. McBee then allegedly beat him with the bat until he was down on the bathroom floor.

A phone call was placed to Gibson Jr. and he reportedly returned with a knife. According to court records, he drove the large knife into his father's chest at least three times then McBee took the knife and slit the man's throat.

McBee, Gibson Jr. and the 14-year-old female friend then worked together to drag the body downstairs and into the garage, the documents said.

Peoria police said the plan was to load Gibson's body into a truck and take him to a nearby park where it would look like he was killed for drugs.

However, when they heard sirens, McBee and the girl fled on foot, leaving behind their cellphones backpacks and shoes.

Michelle Gibson told police that her son was with her the entire time she and her daughter were shopping, but cellphone records do not support that claim and Gibson Jr. is not shown in all of the video surveillance images.

According to the court documents, there were previous domestic violence incidents involving the couple.

The investigation is ongoing.

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