Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

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Normal Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:17 am

December 13th



ROGERSVILLE — Courthouse sources said Amber Beth Gibson sat in her jail cell cheerfully playing cards as Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told the world Gibson has been charged in the beating death of 3-year-old Emily Madison Barnard.

When Emily’s father, Eric Barnard, received the news shortly after a Tuesday press conference he began to cry, according to his attorney, Mark Stapleton.

Tuesday morning Lawson announced that Gibson, 25, 2005 Route 31, Mooresburg, has been charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse in the July 23 beating of Emily, which resulted in the child’s death two days later on July 25.

Authorities told the Times-News following her death, however, that the child was brain dead on July 23 and was kept alive for the purpose of forensic investigation, to monitor healing of her injuries which established a timeline for when the injuries occurred.

It was nearly five months overdue, but the autopsy report was finally released to the sheriff’s office and prosecutors on Friday, in time to be presented to the Hawkins County grand jury Monday. It stated that Emily died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head.

Gibson had been suspected of killing Emily since day one. She was Eric Barnard’s girlfriend at the time and was reportedly baby-sitting the child the morning of July 23. (remind you of anyone?)

The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office was waiting for the autopsy report to arrive before charging Gibson, who has been held in the Hawkins County jail on an unrelated robbery charge since July 23.

Shortly before the press conference was to begin Tuesday morning, Judge John Dugger signed a gag order in the case. Lawson stated during the press conference he is now prohibited from discussing evidence in the case.

Prior to the gag order being signed, however, Lawson described Emily’s death as one of the most heinous events he has witnessed in his 30-plus-year law enforcement career.

Emily suffered bruises all over her body including massive head injuries.

“This child suffered,” Lawson told the Times-News in July.

Gibson’s bond has been increased from $250,000 for the robbery charge to $500,000, and she is scheduled for arraignment on the murder and child abuse charges in Hawkins County Criminal Court on Feb. 3.

Gibson will also appear in criminal court Thursday for arraignment on a new, unrelated robbery indictment handed down Monday by the Hawkins County grand jury that stems from the beating and robbery of an elderly Rogersville man in June 2010.

The morning of July 23, Hawkins County rescuers responded to a call of an injured child at a camper residence on Barnard Road off of Route 31 in the Mooresburg community in far western Hawkins County.

Gibson was living in that camper with Emily’s father and Emily. Police say that when rescuers arrived, they found Emily suffering bruising all over her body, as well as severe head injuries.

Investigators said Gibson was baby-sitting Emily at the time the injuries occurred while Eric Barnard and Eric’s father, Bill Barnard, were out working, clearing brush.

Bill Barnard was Emily’s legal guardian, and Emily was supposed to be living with him at the time of her death.

Gibson allegedly stated to police initially that Emily had acquired the injuries from a fall. Emily was flown via rescue helicopter to Johnson City Medical Center, where she died from her injuries the afternoon of July 25.

Lawson previously told the Times-News that Gibson was suspected of causing the injuries because she was the only person with Emily at the time the injuries are believed to have occurred.

Eric Barnard, who is currently working out of state with his father, declined to speak to the Times-News Tuesday about Gibson’s charges, although he did authorize his attorney, Stapleton, to answer some questions on his behalf.

Stapleton said he spoke to Eric Barnard shortly after Gibson’s charges were announced. He said Barnard immediately broke down crying and has been on an emotional roller coaster ever since with feelings ranging from anger to sadness to guilt.

The charges against Gibson didn’t provide Eric Barnard or other family members relief, however, because they know this is only the beginning of the ordeal, Stapleton added.

“I can anticipate, having tried these murder cases, that their emotions will continue to be on a swing because of the testimony they will hear, the photographs they will likely encounter,” Stapleton said. “This is long from over with regards to Eric Barnard and his family.”

Stapleton said he didn’t discuss with Eric Barnard if he feels guilt about bringing Gibson into the life of his daughter.

“I’m sure his heart is broken at different levels,” Stapleton said.

Any fond feelings Eric Barnard had for Amber Gibson disappeared when she called him July 23 to say Emily had been injured, Stapleton said.

“I think his emotions turned at that moment and continue to get further away from Amber,” Stapleton said. “I think he’s glad that the sheriff’s department has her instead of him. I’ll say it that way. He’s very angry.”

No motive for the beating of Emily Barnard has been released to the public, but drugs are suspected to be a major problem in Gibson’s life.

In the June 2010 aggravated robbery case, Gibson is accused of actually striking an elderly man over the head with a tire iron from behind before taking $300 in cash, despite the fact that she allegedly had two male accomplices.

Gibson is also charged in the December 2010 blind date robbery of a man with the intent of stealing the man’s pain medication.

A female accomplice allegedly set Gibson up on a blind date with a man known to be disabled and on pain medication. During the date, Gibson allegedly asked the man about his pain medication, sent text messages, and then lured the victim to a rural location where two other male accomplices allegedly robbed the victim with a shotgun.

Lawson said he commended the “hard work and dedication” of his detectives, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Attorney General Berkeley Bell’s office, the Department Of Children’s Services, medical staff at Johnson City Medical Center, and the Division of Forensic Pathology at the Quillen College of Medicine “to get this serious and tragic investigation where it is today.”


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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:31 am

Suspect in 3-year-old girl's death has lengthy criminal history
By Jeff Bobo

Published July 28th, 2011 4:09 am Comments

ROGERSVILLE — The paths that led 3-year-old Emily Madison Barnard to her suspected killer, Amber Beth Gibson, over the past year were both guided by the court system.

On March 2, 2010, Emily was removed from the custody of her mother, Angie Barnard, and placed in the custody of her maternal great-grandparents, Ken and Teresa Harmon of Rogersville.

The reason for the custody removal, as cited in court documents, was related to a truancy matter involving Angie Barnard's juvenile sister, who she was also caring for.

The Hawkins County Juvenile Court temporary custody order states, "As of March 2, 2010, it appeared that Emily Barnard was determined to be dependent/neglected."

In January, however, the Harmons agreed in juvenile court to transfer Emily's custody to paternal grandfather Bill Barnard of Mooresburg, who is the father of Emily's father, Eric Barnard. Eric Barnard was living with his father at the time of the January custody change.

The Harmons stated Wednesday they agreed to the January custody transfer because Emily "adored" her father, and Eric Barnard had plans to eventually petition the court to regain custody.

"That wasn't the way it worked out, and somehow when Eric moved out (of his father's home) Emily was allowed to go with Eric," Teresa Harmon said.

During those same months, Gibson's alleged criminal activity was leading her to a date in Hawkins County Sessions and Criminal courts. Gibson already had an extensive criminal record including a felony conviction for facilitation of manufacturing methamphetamine in 2007.

On June 8, 2010, Gibson allegedly participated in the beating and robbery of elderly Rogersville businessman John D. McBride. One of the suspects, Michael Darren Knight, was arrested the same day and identified by McBride, but McBride couldn't identify the person who struck him from behind with a tire iron.

In a statement to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office the day of his arrest, Knight implicated Gibson as the person who struck McBride in the head with a tire iron and took $300 in cash from his pockets. Knight stated that the two fled on foot and later caught up with each other.

Knight told deputies the two "shot" some of the pills they bought with the stolen cash before Knight took Gibson to her job. Knight was arrested a short time later in his car, which had been identified by witnesses.

Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said his detectives were told by the attorney general's office that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Gibson in the McBride robbery because the victim couldn't identify her, and the word of the alleged co-defendant wasn't credible.

Gibson wasn't so lucky on Jan. 25, however, when she was implicated in the highly publicized "blind date robbery" in Rogersville.

On that day, the male victim was allegedly introduced to Gibson by a mutual friend for a blind date. According to the codefendants' statements, the motive for the robbery was to steal pills from the victim, who is disabled.

The two went for a drive, and eventually Gibson asked the victim to stop on Flora Road near the Holston River so she could smoke a cigarette.

At that time two men arrived in a vehicle, one of whom was allegedly holding a shotgun. Gibson allegedly got into their car while they robbed the victim, and then the three drove away.

The mutual friend, the two male robbers and Gibson were all charged with aggravated robbery, although Gibson's arrest warrant remained outstanding until April when police finally caught up with her.

She was released from the Hawkins County jail on $5,000 bond shortly after her arrest and was allowed to remain free on that same bond last month after being indicted on a charge of aggravated robbery by the Hawkins County grand jury.

Gibson wasn't charged with the June 8, 2010, robbery of McBride until Saturday while she was being questioned about Emily's injuries. Police say that during that interview Gibson admitted to participating in the McBride robbery, and she was charged with especially aggravated robbery.

Knight has already been sentenced to 15 years for his part in the McBride robbery.

According to Bill Barnard, his son Eric and Gibson had been together for about two months, and the two moved into a camper on Bill Barnard's property temporarily until a permanent home could be found.

Bill Barnard said although he was the legal guardian, he allowed Emily to stay with her father and Gibson because the child loved her father and wanted to be with him. Bill Barnard said he felt it was best for the child to be with her dad.

Bill Barnard told the Times-News Wednesday he believes the justice system failed Emily and failed his family. He claims he didn't know about Gibson's past, or the crimes she was accused of.

He said law enforcement should have informed him that a woman living on his property with his son was accused of one armed robbery and a suspect in another.

"She should have been in prison a year ago," Barnard said. "This never should have happened."

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:36 am

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. -- Amber Beth Gibson was already jailed on robbery charges, now, she's charged with brutally murdering three-year-old Emily Barnard.

"She is charged with first degree murder, aggravated child abuse in the death of Emily Barnard," said Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

The district attorney says Barnard died from multiple traumatic injuries to her head.

After the toddler was found unresponsive at her father's Hawkins County home back in July, sheriff Ronnie Lawson called the case horrific.

“Looking at the evidence so far in this case, after doing this 34 years, it's devastating. Devastating to me and all the officers, this little girl suffered," said Lawson during a July interview.

Amber Gibson was Emily's father's girlfriend.

The toddler was spending time with at the couple's Mooresburg home when she was found unresponsive.
After months of waiting on the autopsy report, Emily's great-grandmother wants to know what Gibson has to say.

"I would like to hear what she has to say,” said Teressa Harmon, “not that it matters or I will accept it, cause there is no excuse, I really want to hear what she has to say."
Moments before Sheriff Lawson was expected to release more details in a press conference, a judge handed down a gag order.

Now, everyone involved in the case can't talk about the details.

The autopsy report is off limits to the public until trial.

We asked about a motive, how young Emily died, and if more charges could be filed against anyone else.

All questions went unanswered because of the judge's order.

Tuesday's limited information was welcomed by Emily's family who've been waiting five months.

Gibson was already jailed on an unrelated robbery charge.
As part of this investigation, the sheriff says they've been able to file more charges in the robbery case.

A third suspect was arrested.

Police say Gibson and two men broke into a home in 2010 and severely beat an elderly man and robbed him of 300 dollars.

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:36 am


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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:40 am

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:41 am

Such a precious child!!

Thank you, Nite, for posting this case!! I hope she gets the DP!!!

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:47 am

One ponders why Emily was removed from the custody of her mother. Surely her mother was a hell of a lot better than this monster!

I would be interested to know the circumstances surrounding the custody issue and what Emily's mother has to say about all this. Emily's father should be horse whipped for choosing this bitch for a girlfriend and leaving her alone w/Emily! I hope he doesn't sleep a wink!

LM, Emily reminds me of sugar lips. cryingagain

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:51 am

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crying crying crying crying

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:04 am

Woman Charged In Toddler Death
By Preston Ayres
POSTED: 6:14 pm EST December 13, 2011
UPDATED: 5:20 pm EST December 14, 2011

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. -- Amber Beth Gibson was already jailed on robbery charges, now, she's charged with brutally murdering three-year-old Emily Barnard.

"She is charged with first degree murder, aggravated child abuse in the death of Emily Barnard," said Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

The district attorney says Barnard died from multiple traumatic injuries to her head.

After the toddler was found unresponsive at her father's Hawkins County home back in July, sheriff Ronnie Lawson called the case horrific.

“Looking at the evidence so far in this case, after doing this 34 years, it's devastating. Devastating to me and all the officers, this little girl suffered," said Lawson during a July interview.

Amber Gibson was Emily's father's girlfriend.

The toddler was spending time with at the couple's Mooresburg home when she was found unresponsive.
After months of waiting on the autopsy report, Emily's great-grandmother wants to know what Gibson has to say.

"I would like to hear what she has to say,” said Teressa Harmon, “not that it matters or I will accept it, cause there is no excuse, I really want to hear what she has to say."

Moments before Sheriff Lawson was expected to release more details in a press conference, a judge handed down a gag order.

Now, everyone involved in the case can't talk about the details.

The autopsy report is off limits to the public until trial.
We asked about a motive, how young Emily died, and if more charges could be filed against anyone else.

All questions went unanswered because of the judge's order.

Tuesday's limited information was welcomed by Emily's family who've been waiting five months.

Gibson was already jailed on an unrelated robbery charge.

As part of this investigation, the sheriff says they've been able to file more charges in the robbery case.

A third suspect was arrested.

Police say Gibson and two men broke into a home in 2010 and severely beat an elderly man and robbed him of 300 dollars.

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:07 am

Security heightened as suspect in beating death of child arraigned
By Jeff Bobo

Published December 15th, 2011 10:11 pm

ROGERSVILLE — Two armed Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office deputies stood facing the audience in Hawkins County Circuit Court with their back to Amber Beth Gibson Thursday morning as she was arraigned on charges stemming from the beating death of 3-year-old Emily Madison Barnard.

Gibson, 25, was originally scheduled to be arraigned on two unrelated robbery charges Thursday.

With heightened security in the courtroom, Judge John Dugger went ahead Thursday with Gibson’s arraignment on charges of first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse. The arraignment had previously been set for Feb. 3, 2012.

The public defender’s office announced Thursday it has a conflict of interest and cannot represent Gibson.

Dugger appointed Greene County attorney Douglas Payne to represent Gibson on the murder and child abuse charges for which she was indicted Monday by the Hawkins County grand jury.

Gibson is accused of beating Emily Barnard the morning of July 23, causing injuries that resulted in the child’s death on July 25.

Emily was the daughter of Gibson’s boyfriend at the time, Eric Barnard.

Gibson was baby-sitting the child the morning of July 23 in the camper where the three of them lived in Mooresburg while Emily’s father and grandfather were working.

Rescuers were called to the camper that morning, where they found Emily suffering bruising all over her body, as well as severe head injuries.

Gibson was suspected of causing the injuries from day one, but the sheriff’s office wouldn’t charge her until the autopsy confirmed the child’s death wasn’t accidental.

The sheriff’s office and attorney general’s office received Emily’s autopsy report last Friday, which stated Emily died from multiple blunt force traumas to the head.

Gibson currently faces a potential sentence of life in prison, which in Tennessee equals 60 years with an 85 percent release eligibility.

Dugger explained to Gibson during her arraignment, however, that the attorney general still has the option of filing aggravating circumstances, such as the child’s age, which could increase the potential penalty to life without parole or the death penalty.

Attorney General Berkeley Bell told the Times-News following Gibson’s arraignment that it’s too early to determine if any aggravating circumstances will be filed in the case.

The aggravated child abuse charge carries a potential penalty of 15 to 25 years, which must be served at 100 percent.

Gibson is next scheduled to appear in criminal court on the murder and child abuse charges on Oct. 22, 2012, for a status hearing.

Gibson is also facing two unrelated robbery charges, and attorney Daniel Scott was appointed to represent her in those two cases.

She is charged with aggravated robbery stemming from the highly publicized Jan. 25 “blind date robbery” in which she was allegedly set up on a blind date by one accomplice, and then lured the victim to a rural area where he was robbed at gunpoint by two other accomplices.

Her three alleged accomplices in that case have pleaded guilty and are serving prison sentences.

Dugger scheduled that case for an Oct. 22 status hearing as well.

Gibson was also indicted Monday on one count of especially aggravated robbery in the June 10, 2010, beating and robbery of a retired Rogersville businessman.

A Feb. 13, 2012, trial date was set in that case.

Gibson remains held in the Hawkins County jail on $500,000 bond.

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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by raine1953 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:57 am

The DP is too good for this monster.
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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by artgal16 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:47 pm

The father of Emily lived in that camper as well - he had to have known that Amber was a severe addict - there is no way in those close quarters he didnt know she wasnt fit to take care of the child - its all neglect and disinterest in their own children.
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Normal Re: Amber Beth Gibson Pleads GUILTY in the beating Death of Her Boyfriend's 3 Year Old Daughter Emily Madison Barnard/She w/spend Life In Prison!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:09 pm

Father's girlfriend charged with murder of Hawkins County toddler

Posted: Dec 13, 2011 10:23 AM CST
Updated: Dec 13, 2011 4:53 PM CST


ROGERSVILLE (WATE) - The girlfriend of a Hawkins County toddler's father is charged with first degree murder in the death of the three year old.

The sheriff's office announced the charges against Amber Beth Gibson, of Mooresburg, on Tuesday morning in a press conference.

Emily Barnard's father, Eric, went to work in July, leaving the girl in Gibson's care at a camper on Highway 31.

Family members who live nearby said Gibson ran out later asking for help and holding a lifeless-looking Emily.

The girl had bruises all over her body and severe head trauma. She was later taken off life support at a Johnson City hospital.

The sheriff's office received the autopsy results on December 9, but officials declined to release the cause of Emily's death or say what evidence led them to charge Gibson, who was named as a suspect in July.

Gibson was already in custody on an unrelated especially aggravated robbery charge. A second suspect, Robert Brian Hodge, of Rogersville, has also been arrested in that robbery.

"It's definitely a tragedy, not only for the family, the officers involved and the community," said Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

Emily's grandfather, Billy Barnard, had legal custody of her. He turned down a 6 News request Tuesday for an interview, but said the sheriff and a judge in the case had called to tell him the news.

The sheriff would not rule out more charges in the case.

The Tennessee Department of Children's Services confirmed that Emily had been moved to several homes before ending up in her grandfather's custody.

Family members say they didn't know Gibson had a criminal record.

She'll be in court in February for the first degree murder charge.

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Must-see heart wrenching video!!

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Normal 'I am a monster' - Hawkins woman pleads guilty in beating death of 3-year-old

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:20 pm

By Jeff Bobo
Published March 30th, 2012 2:24 pm
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Amber Beth Gibson, 25.

Amber Beth Gibson pleaded guilty today in connection to last year's beating death of Emily Madison Barnard, 3, in exchange for what will likely be life in prison.

In Greeneville Circuit Court Gibson, 25, was sentenced to 51 years imprisonment for first-degree felony murder. She was sentenced to an additional 23 years for two unrelated robberies that occurred prior to Emily's death on July 25.

A statement Gibson made shortly after the murder was read aloud in court by Assistant Attorney General Kevin Keeton. Gibson admitted she beat Emily's head against walls, cabinets and the floor, among other abuses.

"I am a monster," Gibson told Hawkins County Sheriff's Office investigators.

Gibson's statement added that she was not getting high enough on Roxycontin, snapped when Emily wet herself and commenced the beating.

Read more of this story in tomorrow's print edition of the Kingsport Times-News.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:09 am


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