Chesterfield doctor found guilty of killing girlfriend; jury recommends 50-year sentence

UPDATE: A jury found Dr. John Gibbs guilty of killing his girlfriend and Chesterfield nurse Zulma Pabon who went missing in 2014 and has never been found.

Jurors recommended a 50-year sentence for Gibbs with no fine.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.



CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The murder trial of a Chesterfield doctor accused of killing his live-in girlfriend is in the hands of a jury.

After hearing closing arguments from attorneys on both sides of the case, jurors began deliberating around lunchtime Wednesday. At roughly 5:30 p.m., it was announced that jurors would break until 9 a.m. Thursday to resume deliberations.

Zulma Pabon disappeared in June of 2014. While police never located her body, prosecutors charged her boyfriend, Dr. John Gibbs, with her murder.

Prosecutors pointed out that Gibbs never reported Pabon missing, refused to cooperate with police and bought large quantities of acid in the weeks after she disappeared.

Investigators also believe Gibbs searched on his girlfriend’s computer the terms, ‘ether’ and ‘why would someone want to disappear.’

Gibbs’ defense attorney, meanwhile, argued that Pabon was mentally unstable at the time she disappeared, had been cutting herself and that police never investigated alternative theories about what may have happened to her.

8News spoke with an alternate juror who said he would have voted Gibbs guilty.

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