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Sexton pleads guilty in death of friend

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By Susan Sharp

Following a plea agreement in criminal court Jonathan Sexton will serve six months in jail for voluntary manslaughter.

It was the charge officials levied soon after he was arrested.

On Monday, Sexton stood in Campbell County Criminal Court and admitted he was guilty in the death of his friend Rocky Gibson.

The two had spent an evening in early December drinking when an argument erupted, according to Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Brandon Elkins.

On that night Sexton allegedly tried to shift culpability for the crime by calling 911 to report the incident. He allegedly told 911 personnel he had arrived at the home to find Rocky Gibson lying on the kitchen floor bleeding from the chest.

 “He’s bleeding out,” Sexton can be heard saying on the 911 tape. “There is something wrong.” As the dispatcher speaks with Sexton she questions him if he knows what happened.

Sexton repeatedly asks Gibson if he knows who “did this to him” and tells him “it is going to be okay.”

When emergency personnel arrived they found Gibson in the kitchen floor of the 1078 South Highway 25 home bleeding, Elkins said.

 A long bladed kitchen knife was found in the sink covered in blood, authorities said.

At that time Sexton maintained to police a third party had inflicted the life- threatening injury on his friend, Elkins said.

Gibson was airlifted to U.T. Medical Center where he died during surgery.

An autopsy later revealed Gibson died from a single knife wound to the heart, the arrest warrant said.

While Sexton was arrested at the home just after police arrived, it was allegedly several hours before he was sober enough to be interviewed, said CCSD Det. Freddie White.

Sexton allegedly told police he had been living at Gibson’s home for several weeks but the two had known each other for longer.

Per the terms of Sexton’s guilty plea he will serve six months in jail followed by three years probation. In addition to this, he is to obtain an alcohol and drug assessment following any recommendations made regarding treatment.

“The judge has to sentence within the range (of incarceration) and he (Sexton) had no prior felonies,” said Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones.

Under state law, Sexton plead guilty to a class C felony which meant his sentence could have been fallen between three and six years. Sexton’s lack of a felony history meant he was eligible to be sentenced on the lower end of the guidelines.

“We feel the facts support the plea,” Phillips-Jones said.