Moe Gibbs: Where is Mindy Morgenstern’s Killer Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder in the Heartland’ has returned for its third season, featuring the true story of Mindy Morgenstern’s brutal murder in the episode ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’. The 22-year-old student at the Valley City University from New Salem was found heinously slain in her off-campus apartment in September of 2006. Preliminary investigations revealed the presence of Moe Gibbs’ DNA at the crime scene. Naturally, he was thus deemed the prime suspect in the case. Following the revelation of further shreds of evidence, he was accused and later convicted of this homicide. Here we have compiled all the information we could find about Moe Gibbs!

Who Is Moe Gibbs?

Moe Maurice Gibbs, 35 at the time of Mindy’s death, had been residing in her apartment building. He was staying there with his pregnant wife and stepdaughter while also working at the Barnes County jail as a correctional officer. However, he appeared to have been separated from his partner by the time he was arrested on accusations of the youngster’s homicide. This arrest came after detectives were able to positively trace the DNA evidence recovered from underneath the victim’s left-hand fingernails directly to Gibbs. He then became engaged to his girlfriend Amy Olson.

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During his trial, Gibbs’ ex-girlfriends also played a significant role. One of them went as far as to claim she had broken up with home owing to his infidelity. His fiancée, however, remained staunch to her commitment to him and even expressed frustration over their wedding supposedly being delayed due to the legal proceedings of the case. Though further testimonies brought forth more cases of delinquency, which included the sexual assault of several female inmates at the Barnes County Jail and the previously unresolved 2004 rape case of a Fargo woman.

Moe Gibbs is Behind Bars Today

Therefore, following 27 hours of deliberations Moe Gibbs was convicted of Mindy’s murder on November 20, 2007. It is believed he slew the young woman during his attempt to rape her because she’d been fighting back. Around a month later, he was hence sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The fact Gibbs’ sexual assault survivors’ testimonies implied an unwavering criminal intent in his personality did not help his case either. Plus, he’d previously also served 5.5 years at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth on an attempted murder charge. We should mention that an additional 15 years was added to his sentence for assaulting the inmates and the 2004 Fargo case.

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In other words, Gibbs is currently serving his sentence as a murder, rape, and sexual assault convict. The 50-year-old is incarcerated at the maximum security North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck, where he’s expected to remain for the rest of his natural life. Nevertheless, it’s imperative to note his first trial in July 2007 had resulted in a hung six-for-six jury despite 23 hours of deliberations. He had initially pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him but eventually chose to admit responsibility in the sexual assault cases owing to incriminating evidence coming to light.

In 2009, Gibbs appealed his convictions, only for them to be rejected by the state Supreme Court. Yet this did not stop his attempts to regain freedom as he further filed a petition with the federal court on claims of judicial misconduct and improper police investigation. His petition even implied ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal. The U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson dismissed the case following a magistrate judge’s ruling, which stated that the motion was invalid as it had not been filed within a year of the convict’s last appeal. This case has thus prompted several and significant changes within the legal proceedings pertaining to criminal background check requirements for officers at correction facilities in North Dakota.

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