The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 7, 2013

From homecoming king to homicide suspect

A few years ago, he was voted best personality, now Demetrius Gibson is wanted in fatal stabbing of girlfriend

JOHNSTOWN — Greater Johnstown’s 2010 high school yearbook shows another side of the man wanted in a brutal Moxham stabbing.

It shows Demetrius “Mete” Gibson wearing a homecoming king’s crown.

It shows him dressed in denim, flashing fancy footwork in the student musical, “Footloose.”

But some who knew the man now wanted for fatally stabbing his girlfriend Tuesday say the onetime Howard University student fell hard for the lure of easy money in the years since.

While a hunt continued Wednesday for the 21-year-old Tire Hill man, indications have surfaced Gibson has been selling drugs since his return to the Johnstown area.  A witness at the scene of Elizabeth Miller’s stabbing at a Bridge Street car wash described her boyfriend, and alleged assailant, as a heroin dealer with a violent streak, a criminal complaint shows.

Police indicated they were already “familiar” with Gibson, despite a very minor criminal history in the area. And within hours of the fatal Moxham assault, a search warrant was executed on Gibson’s Catherine Street apartment.

The targets: drugs, weapons, ammo and cellphones, a search warrant application shows.

It paints a vastly different picture of the Gibson classmates voted “Best Personality” in their graduating class just three years earlier.

“No one would ever expect that from him. You can’t even imagine him purposely hurting anyone for any reason,” said Shelby Mastovich, a fellow 2010 grad.

“Everyone liked him. He was one of the most popular people in school.”

Even the victim’s mother, Barbara Stumph, said he didn’t initially seem like a bad choice for her daughter.

“His appearance to everybody else, he seemed like a perfectly nice guy,” Stumph said. “He had perfect manners.”

Alexis Slippy, a fellow Greater Johnstown grad, recalled Gibson’s days on the “Footloose” stage.

“He was never violent during those times – never aggressive,” she said, noting she never recalled Gibson raising a fist in high school.

But Slippy saw a change in the Tire Hill man in recent years – particularly after he dropped out of D.C.-based Howard University.

She said he kept Miller, her “best friend,” under a close watch.  

And when he drank, “a temper” flared.

“Once he started drinking and he turned into a monster,” Stumph said.

That apparently wasn’t the only issue.

“He found fast money by selling drugs,” one former classmate said, under the condition of anonymity, concerned about retribution from Gibson, who remains at-large.

Slippy said she noticed bruises on Miller just days before she died.  

Police have described the attack as “domestic” – the fallout from a quickly escalating fight between the couple earlier Tuesday.

City detectives said Gibson allegedly punched Miller and threatened her life in their home just hours before he allegedly took her life.

The pair separated for a short time – but then agreed to meet in Moxham to talk and exchange a cellphone.

Inside a car wash bay along Bridge Street around 4:45 a.m., he allegedly stabbed her once and fled.

He left the knife, a rental agreement in both of their names and Miller behind, police said.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads