Suspected serial killer on trial, accused of killing mom, several others in violent crime spree

Keith Gibson is accused in the deaths of several people in Delaware and Pennsylvania during a violent crime spree in 2021

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Opening statements begin in trial of accused serial killer Keith Gibson
The trial of a suspected serial killer who calls himself The Beast and is accused in the deaths of several people began Monday with jury selection.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Opening statements begin Tuesday in the trial of a suspected serial killer in Delaware who calls himself "The Beast."

The trial of Keith Gibson, 41, is accused in the deaths of several people in Delaware and Pennsylvania during a violent crime spree in 2021. He is on trial for the deaths of an Elsmere cellphone store manager and a Wilmington man in separate robberies.

READ | Suspect in killing of Dunkin' manager in Philadelphia indicted for 2 murders in Delaware

The man accused of killing a Philadelphia Dunkin' store manager was indicted for two murders in Delaware on Tuesday.

Jurors were selected for the trial Monday and more than 80 witnesses are expected to be called to the stand in a trial that authorities think will last four weeks.

Gibson also faces charges for four murders in Philadelphia, including his own mother.

Gibson, who has a long criminal history, is accused of going on a violent rampage shortly after being released in December 2020 from a Delaware prison where he served about 13 years for manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

After being identified by Philadelphia police as a suspect in the Feb. 6, 2021, killing of his mother, Christine Gibson, he was charged with violating the terms of his probation by leaving Delaware without permission. Delaware probation officials initially recommended that a judge sentence Gibson to serve the six years remaining on his 20-year sentence in the manslaughter case. They later asked only for a minimum of 30 days after a defense attorney told the judge that Gibson had found work in Philadelphia and that leaving Delaware without permission was just a minor mistake. The judge sentenced him to 31 days, and he was released again April 27, 2021.

Less than three weeks later, prosecutors said, Gibson shot and killed Leslie Ruiz-Basilio, 28, during a robbery at a cellphone store in Elsmere on May 15, then stole her car, which was later found in Philadelphia.

Keith Gibson is accused of shooting and killing Leslie Ruiz-Basilio during a robbery at a cellphone store in Elsmere on May 15, 2001.

On June 5, Gibson then shot and killed Ronald Wright, 42, during a street robbery in Wilmington, also wounding another man, prosecutors said.

Earlier that same day, Christine Lugo, 40, had been confronted by a gunman as she opened a Dunkin' shop in north Philadelphia. Police say Gibson pushed her inside, took about $300, shot her in the head and fled to Delaware.

Authorities say Gibson robbed or assaulted three other people in Delaware over the next three days. He was arrested June 8 in connection with the robbery of a Wilmington Rite Aid store, during which a clerk was pistol-whipped. When police arrested him, Gibson was wearing body armor and carrying a knife and loaded handgun.

The Associated Press contributed to this post.