Traralgon man found guilty of murder

A TRARALGON man who repeatedly struck another man’s head with a baseball bat in a Tyers home last year, has been found guilty of murder.

The Supreme Court jury unanimously found James Gibson, 19, guilty of murdering 42 year-old Glenn Sullivan at the Morwell courthouse on Friday.

As the verdict was handed down, a juror became distressed and said, “I can’t do this” and “I wanted it to match up with something else, but it hasn’t happened”.

The jury was sent from the courtroom before delivering a final and unanimous ruling.

“It’s obviously a very difficult task sitting in judgment on another human being about a matter like this, and you, like many other juries, have obviously found the task distressing,” Justice Croucher said.

The court had earlier heard Gibson hit Mr Sullivan’s skull with a baseball bat while yelling, “He killed my Dad. I’ve seen it in the smoke” on the evening of 3 April, 2015.

Jurors were told during the trial Gibson and Mr Sullivan had not met prior to the attack.

Witness Adam Charleston, a former resident of the Tyers-Walhalla Road property where the attack occurred, had told the court Gibson’s father was killed in the Black Saturday bushfires in Traralgon South.

Arguments centred on whether the attack was drug-induced psychosis or Gibson’s first episode of schizophrenia with independent psychiatrists providing their opinion of Gibson’s mental impairment to the jury.

The court also heard evidence the teenager believed he was the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler and heard messages from the TV and radio telling him to kill and make himself “stand out so that he could be easily rescued by the ‘Nazi Recovery Team’”. 

Gibson will appear at Melbourne Supreme Court on 22 August for sentencing.