2 people charged in fatal shooting get suspended sentences

DURHAM, N.C. — Two people charged in the murder of a North Carolina man received suspended sentences Thursday after pleading guilty to reduced charges.

According to prosecutors, Kenneth Gibbs and Monet Wise had co-operated with investigators in the case against the gunman, Khalil Knight.

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Bernabe Dubon, 62, was shot in June 2017 as he headed for a Durham store to send money to family members outside the U.S, news outlets reported. Prosecutors said Knight, Gibbs and Wise had been smoking marijuana, ran out of money and decided to rob a Hispanic person.

Dubon was a teacher and a principal in Honduras but worked as a carpenter in North Carolina.

Assistant District Attorney Kendra Montgomery-Blinn said the three saw Dubon and targeted him. Court records said Dubon fought back, then threw $20 at Knight from the thousands of dollars in cash he had for his relatives.

Montgomery-Blinn said Knight shot Dubon twice. Police found him with gunshot wounds to the foot and pelvis.

Multiple charges were filed against Knight, Wise and Gibbs, including first-degree murder. In August, Knight pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to a maximum of 23 years in prison.

On Thursday, Wise and Gibbs pleaded guilty to attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy. Both of their sentences were suspended in lieu of two years of supervised probation.

WRAL reported that prosecutors offered a deal to the two defendants because they co-operated with investigators and are working to support their families.

The evidence showed Gibbs and Wise were part of planning the robbery, according to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office.

"They never possessed a weapon. They were around the corner when shots were fired and were not aware until police told them, that someone had died," the statement said.

The DA’s Office worked closely with Dubon’s family "to reach a disposition in this case that was fair and in the interest of justice," the statement said.

The conditions of their probation include not contacting Knight or Dubon’s family and participating in counselling and other programs.

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