MAYS LANDING — An Atlantic City man who turned himself in on a murder warrant said during his first court appearance Tuesday that he plans to hire his own attorney.
Gregory J. Gibbs, 36, is accused of fatally shooting Chikki Smith in a parking lot on South Main Street in Pleasantville just before midnight Dec. 3.
Gibbs told Superior Court Judge Michael Donio that he plans to hire a private attorney. He also said he had not received a copy of the charges, so Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Maher gave him one for himself and one for his attorney.
A Dec. 4 warrant charging Gibbs with murder and weapons offenses was signed shortly after the killing, but authorities did not release the information publicly at that time.
The Press of Atlantic City reported Gibbs was a fugitive after obtaining a copy of the warrant Friday. He turned himself in to Pleasantville police in Atlantic City on Monday. Atlantic City police assisted.
Maher told Donio he would not be providing details of the case at this time, but may if Gibbs’ eventual lawyer requests a bail hearing. Bail is currently set at $1 million full cash.
Smith’s father, Walter Bennett, told The Press the version of events he was given.
Smith, 33, who lived in Atlantic City, was having wings and a beer at Sam’s Rialto Bar and Grill when he got a phone call and went outside. That’s where his attacker was waiting, and shot him several times.
Smith died at the scene.
Bennett said his son never mentioned any problems with anyone.
There are several surveillance cameras that focus on the area, but the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has not commented on whether anything was caught on tape.
Gibbs has a criminal history dating to at least 1996, according to court records. He has pleaded guilty to at least four crimes, including an aggravated assault with a firearm in 2002. His last arrest was in 2010, when he pleaded guilty to making a threat of violence.
He served no time for the third-degree crime.
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