On Nov. 7, 1992 a man walked into the Cole's Traditions furniture store in Spokane and demanded money. "You're kidding," store owner Brian Cole is said to have told the man. But the robber wasn't kidding. He took $18 from Cole's wife's purse then ordered them both to the back of the store. Cole tried to overpower the robber, but was instead shot fatally in the head and chest.
That robber, police now say, is level-three sex offender Patrick K. Gibson.
Gibson was arrested today in Stanwood, Wash. by Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies as a result of an investigation that used DNA evidence harvested from the baseball cap that Cole ripped from the robber's head as he was shot.
The Spokesman-Review reports:
Detectives reviewing the case last December found evidence that had not been submitted for DNA testing. They learned April 18 that DNA on the evidence matched Gibson's DNA, which was on file because of previous criminal conviction, including a stint in the federal prison system.
Gibson's criminal rap sheet is as long as it is serious. His profile on Spokane County's sex criminal database details convictions for rape, kidnapping and armed robbery.
According to official documents Gibson was convicted in the Multnomah County Oregon Circuit Court on 02/15/1979 of the crimes of Rape and Robbery. He was sentenced to 10 years and 15 years to be served consecutive. In this case Gibson committed an armed robbery of a restaurant in Portland Oregon on 11/28/1978. During the robbery Gibson forced a waitress outside and into his vehicle. He drove her to a rest area where he then sexually assaulted her. On 05/09/1979 Gibson was convicted in the United States District Court, Nevada of Kidnapping, Aiding and Abetting, and Conspiracy to Kidnap. He was sentenced to 20 years in Nevada state prison. He was also convicted in the Ninth Judicial District, Douglas County Nevada of Robbery, from the same offense, and sentenced to 15 years in prison, concurrent. In this case Gibson and co-defendants robbed a gas station on 11/17/1978. During the robbery the 17 year old unknown male victim and the 19 year old unknown female victim were forced into the suspect?s vehicle, driven by Gibson. The victims were driven to a federal reservation where Gibson then sexually assaulted the female victim. Both victims were tied up and left. On 11/25/1996 Gibson was convicted in United States District Court, Eastern District of California of Bank Robbery and Aiding and Abetting and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.
Though Gibson certainly has spent his fair share of time residing in one of Washington's fine penal institutions, at the time of the 1992 murder of Cole, Gibson was as free as a bird.
He's also said to have used a similar disguise--a hat, fake beard and trench coat--when he committed at least one other robbery.
No doubt he'll never get another chance to enjoy such freedom if he's convicted on this charge.