Judge Orders Man Charged in Death of Officer Jermaine Gibson to Stand Trial
Prosecutors grilled more than a dozen witnesses in court including officers who were in pursuit with Officer Jermaine Gibson when he crashed into a palm tree last March.Photo: Video by kmir6.com
INDIO--The man charged with killing Cathedral City Police Officer Jermaine Gibson was in court Thursday. A judge deciding 35 year-old Durjan Gray will stand trial for the death of Officer Gibson.
Officer Gibson died last March when he lost control of his squad car during a high speed chase.
Gray pleaded not guilty to the charges last May.
The final moments of Officer Jermaine Gibson's life played in the courtroom. Officer Alfredo Luna listened as his colleague lost control of his squad car during a high speed chase, crashing into a palm tree.
"It was trying to burn us as we were trying to pull him out," said Cathedral City Police Officer Alfredo Luna. "This went on for a few seconds. Eventually the flames consumed Officer Gibson's body and I could see that he was burned."
Officer Luna arrived seconds after the crash on Palm Canyon Drive and tried to pull Gibson's burning body from his mangled squad car.
"I tried a few more times to pull him out but once his face was burning I knew he was dead," Officer Luna said.
Defense attorney's saying Officer Gibson is responsible for his own death.
"You've got to remember the person he was chasing was in front of him, didn't cause the accident," said defense attorney Greg Johnson. "This was unfortunately caused by the negligence of the officer."
Prosecutors were reluctant to speak about the case, only saying Officer Gibson died while doing his job.
"It's my hope today that after the preliminary hearing the defendant, Durjan Gray will be held to answer on all the charges," said prosecuting attorney Anthony Orlando.
Prosecutors say Gray was high on methamphetamine and marijuana during the chase that at times reached 100 miles per hour.
Gray is charged with second degree murder, causing injury while driving under the influence of drugs, causing injury while evading arrest and participating in a criminal street gang.