Voice of the Mountains
Asheville woman charged in death of
Authorites say boy kept in trunk for hours
By Clarke Morrison
Ppublished: May 23, 2005 11:00 am
SYLVA – An Asheville woman is in the Jackson County Jail on murder and child abuse charges after authorities said she kept her 8-year-old son in the trunk of her car for more than 16 hours.
It appears that the death of Devon Miles Gibson was heat related, Sheriff Jimmy Ashe said. An autopsy is being performed today.
Michelle Joyce Gibson, 36, of the Woodcroft Apartments on Coleman Avenue, was charged this morning with second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and two counts of felony child abuse.
It appears the boy was kept in the car because of “a baby sitting issue,” Ashe said.
“The indications through the interviews was the child was left in the automobile in the trunk area exceeding 16 hours,” he said. “It’s an unacceptable child abuse that led to the death of an 8-year-old child.”
The sheriff said the boy apparently was kept in the trunk of his mother’s car while she worked Sunday at Mountain Trace Nursing Center in the Little Savannah community of Jackson County. The child also was in the trunk at least part of the day Saturday as the mother worked at the center as a certified nursing assistant.
Jackson County 911 received a call about 5:32 p.m. Sunday from an employee of the nursing center reporting the possible death of the child, Ashe said. By that time Gibson was on her way back to her north Asheville home.
Asheville officers were alerted and arrived at the apartment complex about 6:30 p.m. and found Gibson and the boy in the back seat of the car in the parking lot, said Capt. Sarah Benson of the Asheville Police Department.
The investigation was turned over to Jackson County authorities because it’s believed that the death occurred in that county.
Gibson is jailed under a $100,000 bond.