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Seeking justice

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Lebanon man was shot one year ago at Raywick bar

By Stephen Lega

David Litsey Sr. was at home watching television when he heard reports of a shooting in Raywick.
He and his wife, Linda Bridgewater Litsey, immediately called their son, David Litsey Jr., who they knew had gone to Raywick that night. His friends answered the phone and said they were on the way to Spring View Hospital.
When David Sr. and Linda arrived at the hospital, they learned that David Jr. was the shooting victim. Eventually, the doctors told them that they hadn’t been able to save him.
David Jr. was 22 when he died. Saturday, Nov. 9, was the one-year anniversary of the shooting.
“I just miss him with all my heart. I know his mama misses him real bad,” David Sr. said.
Besides his parents, David Jr. is survived by four brothers and three sisters, and three children, Braelyn (5), Aliyah (3) and Adelyn (14 months).
“He was a loving father and a loving son,” David Sr. said.
Lebanon Police Dispatch received the report of the shooting at 1:21 a.m. Nov. 9, 2012, outside of Raywick Bar and Grill. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police responded to the scene, and the KSP led the investigation.
The bar owner Christopher Gribbins, 47, of 821 Dangerfield Road in Hodgenville was later arrested and indicted for murder for David Jr.’s death.
No bond was set in Gribbins’ murder case, and he remains in custody in the Marion County Detention Center awaiting trial.
A furlough order was granted allowing Gribbins to be released May 14, 2013, so he could visit the dentist, but that order noted that he was to return to the detention center immediately after his dental appointment.
Court records, specifically an email dated Sept. 4, indicate that the prosecuting and defense attorneys had been trying to mediate the case, but thus far no agreement has been reached.
And that’s OK with David Sr.
“The truth has got to come out,” he said. “It’s a murder charge. I want the truth to come out in a trial.”
A pretrial conference was held Nov. 7. Another pretrial conference has been scheduled for Jan. 9, 2014, and a trial has been rescheduled for Jan. 27, 2014.

Civil suit
While the criminal case was pending, David Sr. filed a civil case against Gribbins and the Raywick Bar and Grill on July 24, 2013.
In the case, David Sr. accuses Gribbins of causing David Jr.'s death “either willfully or with gross negligence.”
The complaint also reads that David Sr. is seeking a jury trial, monetary and punitive damages against Gribbins, and any attorney's fees and costs incurred by David Sr.
Gribbins’ answer to the civil suit was filed Aug. 13, 2013. In his answer, Gribbins denies all the accusations against him.
As of Sept. 20, however, the civil case is on hold. Judge Kelly issued an agreed order declaring the civil case was “stayed” pending the resolution of Gribbins criminal case.

Another case
Hours before David Jr. was shot and killed, another man from Springfield was assaulted at the Raywick bar.
Gribbins and Michael Gibson, 49, of 209 Broadway in Raywick were both arrested on charges of second-degree assault against Phillip Franklin Jr. in the evening of Nov. 8. Gibson was also indicted for third-degree terroristic threatening for the Franklin incident.
Gribbins’ arrest report referred to the incident with Franklin and Litsey’s death, however.
“Subject [Gribbins] identified as discharging firearm that resulted in the death of David Litsey,” the report reads. “Subject was also involved in the beating of a separate individual earlier in the night by use of a firearm.”
On Sept. 5, 2013, Gibson pled guilty to an amended charge of fourth-degree assault against Franklin. The terroristic threatening charge was dismissed.
That same day, Gibson received 24 months of probation with the condition that he “must testify truthfully” against Gribbins.
Gribbins’ trial in the Franklin assault case is scheduled for Nov. 20, although it has already been rescheduled once.

Remembering his son
In the past year, David Sr. said he’s seen his wife cry many times, and he understands her feelings as well.
“That’s her son, her heart,” David Sr. said.
He’s also had his own frustrations with the court system, but he isn’t about to quit fighting for him.
“He’s going to be vindicated. Justice will come out in the end,” David Sr. said.
David Sr. said he knows that his son had his own run-ins with the law, but he also knows that his son didn’t deserve to be killed that night in Raywick.
And more than anything, David Sr. said he wants people to remember his son.
“I’m not going to let my son die in vain,” David Sr. said. “We all got to stand strong for him.”

Editor’s note: The indictment of a person is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.