In response to questions from a judge, Donavan L. Gibson sounded brusk, almost annoyed, as he confirmed that he understood his rights.
The 35-year-old murder suspect made his first appearance in Spokane County District Court on Monday afternoon, speaking to Judge Eric Dooyema by video feed from a room in the nearby jail.
Wearing all yellow, Gibson clasped his hands on the table in front of him, unable to see the anguished relatives who sat in the back of the courtroom, flanked by TV news cameras.
“I suppose, yes,” he said at one point.
Gibson turned himself in last Wednesday morning after police issued a bulletin asking for the public’s help in finding him. Police say he barged into a home in northeast Spokane the previous night and shot two people, including his estranged wife.
Sasha Ross Gibson and Devan Bouge were each shot twice in the back of the head, according to charging documents. Ross Gibson survived and even managed to speak with responding police officers, but Bouge, 24, died of his injuries. Officers found his body in the kitchen of the home at 1718 N. Stone St.
During Monday’s hearing, a prosecutor argued to keep Donavan Gibson’s bonds set at $1 million. That’s $500,000 each for charges of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder.
The prosecutor said Gibson’s limited ties to the community make him a flight risk. Gibson has lived in the area for only three years, has lived at his current address in Cheney for only three months, and previously lived in Wyoming and Tennessee, said a prosecutor, with his employment listed as “zero to six months.”
Gibson’s attorney, Robert Sargent, argued to reduce the bond amount, saying Gibson has no prior criminal record and would not flee given the chance.
“He had an opportunity to run,” Sargent said. “He didn’t. He turned himself in.”
Sargent also requested that Gibson undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Before going to jail, he said, Gibson had been in counseling and taking medications for bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and trouble sleeping.
“He indicates that, just recently, all that stuff, medicine, has not been working – has caused him to have blackouts,” Sargent said. “In fact, he blacked out and woke up at a rest stop.”
Judge Dooyema said he had reviewed the charging documents in the case and ruled to maintain Gibson’s $1 million bond.
The records say Ross Gibson was yelling, crying and having difficulty breathing when she called 911 at about 10 p.m. to report that Gibson was trying to break into her house and was known to carry guns. Officers forced their way into the house and found the two victims, as well as four 9 mm bullet casings.
Despite her injuries, Ross Gibson managed to tell one officer that she had been in an argument with Gibson earlier that evening, and he had threatened to kill himself. She said she had retreated into a bedroom when he arrived, wielding a pistol, and the next thing she remembered was officers arriving at the scene. She also gave a description of Gibson: bald, heavyset, with a beard and a teal Subaru Legacy.
The court documents allege Gibson confessed to the crimes in messages to his mother and a cousin. He spoke to a detective by phone before turning himself in and giving up his Glock 9 mm handgun. Another detective found the user manual for the gun while searching Gibson’s apartment in Cheney.
Relatives of Bouge have set up a GoFundMe.com campaign to raise money for his funeral and help cover Ross Gibson’s medical expenses. The page states that his family also wants to help Ross Gibson’s parents travel from Michigan to be with her in Spokane.
KXLY reported that Bouge and Ross Gibson were a romantic couple, and that he was the father of two children, ages 3 and 5.
Ross Gibson worked at Gonzaga University as a program manager for social justice education and outreach. In an update on the GoFundMe page, Bouge’s aunt wrote that Ross Gibson was recovering and was transferred from the intensive care unit on Sunday morning.
To honor Bouge, who was a video game enthusiast, a group of fellow gamers reunited for an eight-hour session playing the game “Halo: Reach.”
“Memories and stories were shared … it was so special,” his aunt wrote.
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