ONEONTA – Jennifer Kirkpatrick was “relieved” when she heard the news that David Dart, the man who murdered her 18 year old sister, Gillian Gibbons 30 years ago, was denied parole.
“I’m thankful that we have more time,” she said. “The longer we can keep him in prison, the better off they are.”
In 1991, Dart, then 29, was sentenced to 25 years to live for second-degree murder after he was found guilty of stabbing Gillian to death on Sept. 12, 1989.
At a “Justice for Gillian” rally in September, Kirkpatrick rallied friends, community members and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, to write letters to the parole board urging them to deny him parole.
In a press release, Seward said he and Jill’s family “prayed for this outcome. A cold-blooded killer, who has shown no remorse, needs to stay in prison, and I am pleased that the parole board agreed.”
In addition to letters sent, the Otsego County Board of Representatives added a resolution asking the parole board to deny his release as part of their resolution to support S4354, introduced several times by state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, to increase the time between parole hearing for “violent crimes” from two to five years.
“Without the community support, he’d be out,” she said. “Those letters are what’s keeping him in prison. The community is saying ‘we don’t want him here, he is dangerous.’”
However, she said, he will be up for parole again in May 2012, just 18 months from now.
“It stinks that it’s only 18 months,” she lamented. “But we’ll start writing letters again in March 2021.”
Jennifer Kirkpatrick, sister of Gillian Gibbons, asked 50 supporters gathered at the “Justice For Gillian” rally in Muller Plaza this afternoon to send letters asking the state Parole Board to deny convicted murderer David Dart parole in the stabbing death of Gibbons, 18, in Oneonta’s Municipal Parking Garage 30 years ago. “If he gets out, he will rape, he will kill again,” Kirkpatrick warned. With her is state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who helped put the rally together and has sponsored a bill to increase the time between parole hearings from two to five years for violent offenders like Dart. At right, Jennifer Miller Dutcher tells her story – that when they were teens, Dart, who lived with his grandparents across the street from her in Portlandville, held her at knifepoint and assaulted her. “We were able to get him sent away for a little while. But when Gillian’s life was taken, I was devastated. I didn’t think I did enough,” she said. Then shifting to address Bart, she said: “I am a victim who has a voice, and I am using that voice to ask you to keep him behind bars.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)