BANNING – Over three years after a pursuit led to the death of a Cathedral City Police Officer, the driver of the fleeing vehicle was convicted of murder. On the night of March 18, 2011, Officer Jermaine Gibson attempted to pull over a black Ford Mustang. The driver of the mustang, later identified as now 40-year-old Durjan Germaine Gray continued driving leading Officer Gibson on a high-speed pursuit.
The pursuit came to a tragic end when the patrol car driven by Officer Gibbons crashed into a palm tree on South Palm Canyon Drive. The Mustang also crashed, just 200 yards north of Officer Gibbons, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Both the driver and his male passenger were ejected from the vehicle but survived.
Gray was found to be under the influence at the time of the collision and was charged with the murder of Officer Gibson. The case was heard by the jury at the Banning Justice Center where after less than one day of deliberations, on Thursday, July 14, 2016, the jury found Gray guilty on all charges.
The conviction includes one count of second-degree murder with special allegations of the victim being a peace officer, and one count each of driving under the influence causing injury with a special allegation of great bodily injury causing a coma being found true, felony evading a peace officer causing death, and DUI vehicular manslaughter. Gray now faces 30 years to life at his September 9, 2016, sentencing.
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