RIVERHEAD, New York – A young man who nearly beheaded his stepfather with a samurai sword last year was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder after jurors rejected his claim that his mother committed the brutal slaying.
The verdict capped a trial that included lurid testimony from Zachary Gibian alleging that his stepfather had sexually abused him since age 15, with his mother flying into a murderous rage after finding out. Gibian's testimony contradicted the written and videotaped confessions that he made to police.
The jury, which deliberated over seven days, twice sent out notes that it was deadlocked this week before finally reaching a decision. The second note came just four hours before the verdict.
Gibian, 20, faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison for the Feb. 27, 2005, killing of Scott Nager, a retired New York City police officer who was slain as he slept on his living room couch.