COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - A man who originally confessed to the murder of Joshua Whitehead testified today in the trial of Andrew Gaines.
Malik Gibson, who originally confessed to being the shooter, took the stand today and told jurors a different story than he originally told detectives.
Gaines is charged with second-degree murder for the 2015 death of Joshua Whitehead. He's also charged with 3 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of attempted robbery.
Malik Gibson originally told detectives that he was the one who shot and killed Joshua Whitehead, saying he did it to protect his family. But, he said he was lying to detectives when he confessed, saying he watched Gaines pull the trigger.
Gibson testified that he, Andrew Gaines and Keith Dubose were taking Xanax, drinking and smoking weed on the night of the robberies and the murder. He also said that Gaines got a gun from Joshua Whitehead a few days before the robberies and murder.
He said on November 4th, they were driving around and saw two people walking near Cameron University. They asked them if they wanted to buy weed. Gibson said when the man said he didn't have any money, he punched him in the face and shot him in the leg.
They then saw two more people outside. Gibson said the three of them used the gun to force them into the home. That's when Gibson said they robbed them and Dubose stabbed one of the men in the back.
As they left that robbery, Gibson said Gaines called Josh Whitehead and told him they wanted to meet to give him the gun back.
They met at the Rogers Lane townhouses. When they got there, Gibson said they stayed back about 10 feet while Gaines went to return the gun to Whitehead. He said it looked like they began arguing, and Whitehead began running to his car. He said Gaines chased him and that he saw him shoot Whitehead through the car from about three feet away.
He said all three were eventually arrested for the crime and while they were in prison, Gibson says Gaines sent him a note telling him to confess because he would only get 12 years.
Gibson eventually did confess saying he was the one who shot and killed Whitehead but Tuesday, he testified that it was a lie. He said when he was meeting with detectives, they had developed his sister and one of his best friends as suspects. He knew they weren't involved and said to avoid them getting in trouble for something they didn't do he confessed to the crime.
In cross-examination, the defense focused on the fact that Gibson lied repeatedly to the police during his interviews and even as recently as the preliminary hearing for this case.
He originally testified at that preliminary hearing that Gaines had been the shooter during the robbery near Cameron but Tuesday, he said he was the shooter. He admitted that he simply did not remember that he had been the one to do the shooting until he read the paperwork saying so and spoke with his lawyer.
Six witnesses also testified to two robberies that happened in November of 2015. Witnesses testified that in both robberies, there were three black men who were responsible. One of those robberies ended with a man being shot, while another ended with a man being stabbed. During one of those robberies, the men were wearing masks, but the two witnesses from the other robbery were able to positively identify Gaines as being involved.
Witnesses then heard testimony from two men who met Gaines in prison. In that testimony they said during their time around Gaines in jail, they heard him say he was the one who killed Whitehead. One of them said he heard Gaines say he say shot through a car door and killed Whitehead. The other man said he heard Gibson say a jury would never convict him for this crime because another man was taking the responsibility for it.
Jurors also heard from the lead detective on the case. He walked jurors through what he believed happened based on his investigation. He said Whitehead was found dead in his car, which was crash into a Fort Sill fence. He said he believed that Whitehead was dead before the crash. He testified he was originally alerted to Andrew Gaines as a suspect by several of Whitehead's friends, who said the two had been hanging out a lot prior to his death. He questioned Gaines, as well as Dubose and Gibson, who all denied having anything to do with the murder or the robberies. But, in Gaines' second interview, the detective said Gaines still denied any wrongdoing but pointed the finger at Gibson and Dubose, saying they were responsible. In his third interview with police, Gaines' again denied wrongdoing but told police Gibson was ready to confess for all of the crimes. In one of his final interviews, the detective said Gaines testified he was planning on buying marijuana from Whitehead on the night of his murder but said he was across the street when it happened. He said he heard gunshots so he ran towards them and saw Dubose and Gibson walking away. The detective testified that his training led him to believe everyone was lying about what happened in the interviews.
Testimony will continue Wednesday morning.