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DNA on cigarette leads to conviction

Jeffrey Gibson of Lackawanna now knows firsthand how dangerous smoking can be.

Gibson, 32, was convicted Wednesday of first-degree robbery by a State Supreme Court jury for the July 2005 robbery of a a Noco gas station at 2861 South Park Ave. Part of the evidence linking him to the crime came from DNA left on a cigarette he was smoking while he complained to detectives about landlord trouble.

Prosecutors Christopher Gresham and Garrett Grieser said they will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark to recommend Gibson receive a life sentence as a persistent violent felon when he is sentenced Feb. 14.

Gibson has a two-decades-long criminal record and faces a mandatory prison term of at least 15 years, according to court officials. Justice John L. Michalski remanded him until sentencing.

The jury in the weeklong trial spent about four hours in unsequestered deliberations that began late Tuesday afternoon.

Last week, a cashier and another woman in the gas station identified clothing worn by the masked gunman, which Lackawanna police found discarded several blocks from the crime scene.

Neither woman could identify Gibson as the bandit, but prosecutors cited evidence that Gibson was spotted only blocks from the gas station about an hour after the stickup.

Gresham and Grieser also cited DNA findings on a cigarette Gibson had been smoking when he was complaining to Lackawanna detectives about landlord troubles a week after the crime. According to scientific tests, DNA from the cigarette matched DNA found on the clothing abandoned after the stickup.

Michael Ingham, Gibson's attorney, said the conviction will be appealed.


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