The cops found Danielle Marshall’s bloody body crumpled in the kitchen, her nine-month-old daughter crawling around the Powder Springs home.
Outside was Joshua Maurice Gibson, who had called 911, in a plastic chair.
Five years later, Gibson sat in a Cobb County courtroom Wednesday listening to what a monster prosecutors claimed he was for killing the 23-year-old mother of his child.
Gibson’s defense attorney Thomas Griner said Gibson got worried that Marshall hadn’t been responding to his calls and texts so Gibson went to the house that night in January 2012. He claims he called 911 after she didn’t answer the door.
Marshall had been pistol-whipped and shot once in the head, said prosecutor Jesse Evans, who established a refrain early during opening statements: “This case is about domination, manipulation and control.”
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Mugshot of Joshua Gibson (Cobb County Sheriff's Office)
Evans characterized the relationship between Gibson and Marshall as a “cycle of domestic violence ... that culminated in her death.”
He said there were 11 police reports in 16 months between the two of them.
“They have a theory, they have an opinion, but an opinion is not proof, and it’s certainly not evidence,” Griner.
Griner said the two met while working at a Goodwill in Powder Springs. Marshall became pregnant with Gibson’s child.
Later, he got another woman pregnant.
“At the end of the trial, you might not like Joshua Gibson, but that does not mean he committed murder,” Griner said.
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Gloria Marshall sat in court and listened to Griner discredit the positive image the prosecution had built up around her daughter.
“Danielle was dating other men,” Griner said, prompting the mother to cross her arms.
Evans, the prosecutor, said that Gloria Marshall didn’t like Gibson from the start and wasn’t alone. He said Marshall’s friends and family were going to set up an intervention but never did.
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A year after her death, police deemed it a cold case.
A break came, Evans said, from examining phone records, which pointed to Gibson, who was arrested in 2015 at age 27.
But the defense said the cops were eyeing their client from the beginning.
“That night they drew a little box around Joshua Gibson. He’s their suspect,” Griner said.
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The mother pleaded guilty in court Wednesday.