Suspect in 2018 Thanksgiving Day killing of El Paso father and son gets life in prison


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The man accused of a crime spree the day before and on Thanksgiving Day 2018 took a plea deal with the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office, according to county records.

Jason Aaron Gibson pleaded guilty to two charges of capital murder, as well as aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges on Thursday. In exchange, he will not receive a death sentence over the killings of Juan Pablo Salas, 58, and Jonathan Salas, 24.

Former District Attorney Jaime Esparza sought the death penalty against the man originally from Mesa, Ariz. Gibson will serve his sentences concurrently, according to the county’s records.

He was arrested in November 2018 after a chase in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Investigators said that Gibson allegedly broke into a home at a mobile home community in the 1300 block of Wolf Trail in Las Cruces, either late on Nov. 21 or early on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

Police said Gibson assaulted an 86-year-old man who lived in the residence. At about 11 a.m. the 64-year-old daughter of the man and her 64-year-old friend arrived and were confronted by Gibson armed with a taser and gun, police said.

Gibson allegedly ordered the daughter to tie up her friend, while her father lay bleeding on the floor. After that, investigators believe Gibson made the daughter drive him to El Paso and drop him off in the Hercules Avenue area. 

The woman rushed back to Las Cruces and met with police who were already responding to the invasion. When she saw the news reports of the shooting in El Paso, the daughter informed Las Cruces police that she dropped the suspect off in that area. 

The 86-year-old man had multiple injuries to his face, head and hip. He was taken to a Las Cruces hospital and then transferred to an El Paso hospital. His injuries were non-life-threatening. 

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