Skinhead sentenced in 1989 Philadelphia killing

Associated Press/August 25, 2008

Philadelphia - Unswayed by a former skinhead's claim that he had given up white supremacist beliefs, a judge sentenced him Monday to more than a decade in prison for the 1989 killing of a black man.

Thomas Gibison was sentenced to the maximum term of 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison Monday for conspiracy to commit murder, as well as weapons charges, connected to the 1989 shooting of Aaron Wood.

A friend of Gibison testified they went to North Philadelphia to find a black man to kill so they could earn a white supremacist tattoo.

Before being sentenced, Gibison told Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina he was "ashamed" and "embarrassed" of his skinhead past.

"That entire philosophy, I reject it," he said.

Gibison was earlier acquitted of murder and a hate crime charge. Relatives of the victim said Monday that they had some sense of closure but no justice.

"He got away with murder," said Wood's uncle, Arnold Wynn. "I'll feel until the day I die that we didn't get justice for the family."

The charges were filed after a former girlfriend gave federal agents a tip in the case.

Gibison already was serving a 10-year sentence on weapons offenses when he was charged.

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