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S. Indiana man gets 65-year sentence for 2002 killing of Florida woman

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NEW ALBANY, Indiana — A southern Indiana man already facing the death penalty for killing a family friend was sentenced Thursday to 65 years in prison for a Florida woman's 2002 slaying.

A Floyd County judge sentenced William Clyde Gibson III for the October 2002 killing of Karen Sue Hodella, a 44-year-old from Port Orange, Florida

Gibson, 56, had pleaded guilty in March to killing Hodella, whose body was found in early 2003 in Clarksville near the Ohio River.

Hodella's relatives live in Florida and did not attend the sentencing, and none of them sent letters to be read in court as a few had indicated they intended to, The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, reported (http://cjky.it/1eECLWE ).

Prosecutor Keith Henderson said Hodella's sister, daughters and elderly mother had asked whether prosecutors could answer the question of why Gibson killed Hodella.

"They want remorse. They want an apology, and I always tell victims' families, I can't guarantee any of that," Henderson said Thursday.

Gibson was sentenced to death in November after jurors convicted him of killing his mother's best friend, 75-year-old Christine Whitis, during a 2012 attack in New Albany.

Henderson said he doesn't know what motivated Gibson to enter a guilty plea in the Hodella case, even though he intends to go forward this summer with the final of three murder cases he was charged with in 2012 following Whitis' killing.

Gibson is scheduled to stand trial in June in the murder of 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk. The Charlestown woman's remains were found buried in Gibson's backyard days after his arrest in Whitis' death.

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