Jacob Gibson
- August 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial

I watched a video of Benny Gibson standing before a judge asking him to let him out of jail for two weeks to
allow him to go home and take care of his three children:

"I have three other children I need to care of. If I could get out for two weeks
under supervised probation,
whatever it takes to get matters in order"

The biggest problem with this laughable request is that this man, Benny Gibson who was 49 at the time and
Jennifer Paul, who was 37 at the time, were in jail for beating their fourth child, Jacob Gibson so badly, that he was clinging to life in the hospital after surgery to stop the swelling on his brain. Police and paramedics had been called to the home of these two people on August 12, 2011. What they found when they got there was a child who had clearly been beaten. Six year old Jacob Gibson was not breathing and he was having severe convulsions:

"The child has extensive bruising on his chest, legs, sides and back that
included some imprint
markings that appeared to have been caused by a belt
buckle and possibly a wire hanger. Investigators are alleging that at some point
the victims  head was shoved against a bedroom door"

At that point, the police said they were not expecting Jacob to live. Benny and Jennifer gave different stories as far as what had happened to this little Angel. Jennifer stated that Jacob had been beaten up by one of his cousins, who was also six years old and that he was sick the day before it happened. Another story Jennifer told was that Jacob had been playing soccer the day before and was complaining of a headache when he got home.

Benny told police that Jacob had been taking the family dog for a walk a few days before and that the dog had ended up dragging him down a flight of stairs which he had hit his head on. Benny also said that he saw Jacob pass out and fall to the floor.

Only one day after Jacob was taken to the hospital, Jennifer told police that Benny had beaten Jacob quite often with a belt including the belt buckle. At that point she also said that she had not done anything to protect Jacob and that she had, at times, participated in spanking Jacob and that Benny would also refuse to feed Jacob as a punishment, on many occasions. Benny admitted to police that he had hit Jacob with a belt buckle, though he said the head injuries he suffered had been given to him by Jennifer and that it was what cause him to start convulsing.

Not surprisingly, this couple had been visited on several occasions by Child Protective Services who has an open case file against them since 2005. When Jacob was only four days old, he was removed from the family home and around the same time, another of their children was also taken. Both children were returned to the couple for reasons I am unable to find since court records show that neighbors had called CPS and the police when they saw bumps and bruises on Jacob. During the last four years of his life, CPS had been called no less than five times including the most recent stating that Jacob had a golf ball sized knot on the side of his head and two black eyes, a complaint that was filed the month before his death. Another complaint stated that one day when Benny picked Jacob up from school, seemed to be angry with him and then put his hands around Jacob's neck.

Three prior complaints in 2007, stating Jacob had bruises on his legs, 2009, where a neighbor reported that Benny was hitting Jacob in the head and made him stand outside naked for wetting his pants and 2010
when it was reported that the left side of Jacob's faced swelled up because Benny abused him. Neighbors said that Benny could be heard yelling at Jacob and would force him to stand at attention, on a box, to punish him. CPS did not find any validity in those complaints, however, they did find it appropriate to offer the family help by way of Community Services. Police had visited the home during the previous two months and when they were unable to find anyone at home, they were not able to check on Jacob.

A neighbor said:

"It's been going on for a while, and they just don't ever do anything. They came a
couple of times in the past few weeks. I don't know why nothing happened. They
could have stopped it"

BIll Safran

On August 14, 2011, Jacob died from the injuries he had sustained during the beating his parents gave him. When contacted, CPS had no comment and the Phoenix Police said they were taking steps to find out if more could have been done to save Jacob.

If more could have been done? Seriously? More than the NOTHING that was done? I think it's time for CPS and the police to start getting serious about protecting children. Go undercover, live next door to the abusers, hear what the neighbors hear, see what the neighbors see. It's not complicated, catch the abusers and put them away for life!

Benny and Jennifer were arrested at the hospital. Under the law in Arizona, adults who are convicted of a "dangerous crime against children", which includes child abuse, can receive a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison. Let's hope that the death of Jacob brings a far more severe punishment and that these two monsters NEVER get out.

Messages I found while reading about this story: (not changed other than omitting names)

My name is (omitted by site creator) and I live directly across from the apt. 29 in Twillingate Apartments. An I can tell you just from what I've herd it wasnt right what the father did ! An the mother wasnt any better either for letting it happen! I never herd the mother say or do anything to stop it. There were several screams and crys everyday from the children...for me it was very sad to hear this. Because as I was child growing up I had to deal with abuse. I thank God for it not getting severe for me, but this 6yr. old boy needs everyone to help. Please pray for him as he might not see another day...Thank you

Cps and the police were called about the abuse of Jacob by neighbors starting last year when a little girl reported to my exhusband that she could hear the torture of this boy through the walls of the apts my exhusband called cps numberous times and each time the parents would hide Jacob saying he was away with relatives the father went so far as to try to sue my ex for slander and harassment because he called so many times. The< abuse the neighbors seen was horrendouds and cps didnt protect Jacob. I can not tell you publicly what I have been told but my daughter is 13 told me about the abuse months ago and the father would smack the kid in public not really caring who seen him do it.

UPDATE:

Today is June 10, 2014 and the only update I can find on this story is that the parents were still waiting for trial in February of 2012.

UPDATE: June 17, 2016 - Thank you Betty for this update.

In April of 2016, reports said that even though Jacob had died of obvious abuse, neither of his parents would be charged with murder because Prosecutors could not decide who had been the one to hit him so hard that it killed him.

Jacob's parents tried to say that a cousin who was six years old had beat him up or that a soccer game had been the cause of his injuries then they said the dog had dragged him down some steps. The charges Jannifer were two counts of child abuse since she wouldn't feed Jacob and she didn't protect him from his father. She took a plea deal and in December of 2013, she was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Benny was charged with eight counts of child abuse, with four of those being class two felonies. If he had actually gone to trial, he could have received up to 107 years in prison if he was convicted. As it usually happens, a plea deal was offered and of course Benny took it. In February of 2016, Benny accepted a plea deal to three counts of attempted child abuse. Benny was sentenced by Judge Pamela Gates, to 7.5 years and with times served, he'll be out quick because he has spent most about five years of that time waiting for a trial:

"It's horrible. I'm going to try not to cry"
County Attorney - Jeanine Sorrentio

Jeanine Sorrentio was the one who offered the plea deal to Jennifer. She said she needed Jennifer to testify against Benny in court, but Jennifer refused to do so. Jeanine said she could force Jennifer to take the stand or hold her in contempt, however, it wouldn't add much time to her sentence. Jeanine Sorrentio said she was basically forced to offer plea deals in hopes that more time would be added.

Jeannine Sorrentino said that she could have taken the risk of going to trial without Jennifer's testimony, however, she wanted to protect the remaining children. The plea deals says that Benny will not be allowed to see the children without written permission from his Probation Officer, let's hope that never happens:

"It's horrible because I sat with that child for two day to three days in
the hospital. I saw the marks on his body with my own eyes and I saw
the chunk of his skull was removed to try to save his life and I saw the
emaciated condition of him and I saw that he didn't have anybody elese
with him"
Jeanine Sorrentio

Benny, who got the deal of a life time, was asking to withdraw from the plea deal declaring it a manifest injustice as he claims he was never told he would not be able to see his children:

"Those are the terms not disclosed by the state and would prohibit me from
returning to my duty as a father to provide for and love my children"
Benny Gibson

It is said that Benny really wanted to be in the lives of his children so that he could get his hands on money that would be given to them, as members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community, from casino profits. Benny is not a member of that community and would be entitled to nothing.

I would believe that this was true. A man abused and killed one child and then wants to claim that he loves his children and wants to be in their lives to take care of them? I would beg the judge to NOT allow him out of his plea deal and to never allow him to see his children again.

Death Occurred in the state of Arizona

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