DeLand police announced June 30 that an arrest has been made — and another will be made — in the 2019 death of Terrence Gibson, 59, who was shot in the back several times by an unidentified masked gunman.
DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger said the death was a murder-for-hire scheme, and the motive was collecting on a life-insurance policy on Gibson.
Gibson was shot Jan. 31, 2019, while he sat at a campfire in a vacant lot at 314 W. Euclid Ave., witnesses told police. Officers believed the gunman, who fled on foot, had been picked up by a nearby waiting vehicle.
“Detectives collected evidence at the scene that identified the victim’s stepdaughter, Myesha Williams, and another suspect, the male,” Umberger told members of the news media at a press conference June 30. “The investigation revealed that Williams’ motive was an insurance policy, which she had recently increased the value in the event of Mr. Gibson’s death.”
According to Umberger, Williams, 31, had increased the value of the policy from $25,000 to $750,000 two weeks before Gibson’s death.
Officers found a phone linking Williams to the alleged shooter discarded along a scent trail picked up by the department’s canine unit, a police affidavit states. The phone contained text messages and location information that tied Williams and the male to the scene, the Police Department said.
The male suspect, who is identified in the charging affidavit as Perry Stanley, 44, is currently incarcerated in a nearby county, Umberger said.
Recordings of two calls made to the insurance company by Williams before Gibson’s death were played to Gibson’s mother, the investigation narrative reads. Gibson’s mother identified her son as the male speaker in the first call. The mother stated that the male voice on the second call was not her son, the report states.
Umberger explained the connection made by the Police Department between Williams and Stanley.
“Well, they have a relationship, in that we believe she hired him to kill her stepfather,” Umberger said.
The department has charged Williams with first-degree premeditated murder. According to Umberger, the alleged shooter also will be charged.
Williams is currently being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail.