Trial begins for doctor charged with killing Chesterfield nurse

Posted at 5:27 PM, Nov 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-27 17:29:00-05

CHESTERFIELD, Va. –Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of Chesterfield doctor John E. Gibbs, accused of murdering his girlfriend Zulma Pabon.

Pabon was last seen on Friday, June 6, 2014. She was reported missing that following Monday when she did not show up for work at St. Francis Hospital.

The case is considered unusual because the body of 26-year-old Chesterfield nurse Pabon has never been recovered, though prosecutors said there was enough evidence to charge Gibbs.

Chesterfield Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, Larry Hogan, said –as previously reported— that Pabon told Gibbs she was moving out right before she disappeared, and Pabon told her friend she was afraid of Gibbs.

She told the friend that he had spied on her at Cook Out fast food restaurant in Powhatan. The last record of Pabon’s existence was a call to Gibbs, according to Hogan.

The next morning, surveillance video showed Pabon’s car leaving the home on Saturday, as well as Gibbs leaving the home multiple time that morning.

He changed clothes twice that same morning within a short time span, Hogan said. Blood stains with Pabon’s DNA, and surgical gloves were found in Pabon’s car, which was recovered days after her disappearance.

Pabon’s sister confronted Gibbs at the hospital the weekend after her disappearance.

Zulma Pabon’s car was found miles away from her home. It was seen being towed from a shopping area — on surveillance video.

After that, when Gibbs was being followed by law enforcement, he tossed a bag into dumpster several miles away on Woods Edge Road. Bed sheets and a TV remote were found in the bag, Hogan said.

He also drove past where police later found Pabon’s car at the Green Lea Trailer Park, but did not stop.

In July, after Pabon’s disappearance, police said he bought 23 bottles of drain cleaner and a 64-gallon trash can at a Lowes. He returned seven bottles.

Hogan also told the judge that Gibbs searched on Google how much ether is required to knock someone out.

His trial is expected to last 10 days. Gibbs is represented by defense attorney Craig Cooley.



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