Murder trial set to begin Monday

JOHNSTOWN – The man accused in July of shooting and killing his mother at her Ephratah home will go to trial next week in Fulton County Court on murder and other charges.

James F. Dibble, 29, was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, all felonies; and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor. He was indicted by a county grand jury Sept. 19.

District Attorney Louise Sira said the trial will begin with jury selection at 9 a.m. Monday.

Dibble will stand trial before Fulton County Judge Polly A. Hoye.

Sira said she expects the jury selection could take a few days and the trial to take at least two weeks given the amount of testimony from witnesses and evidence connected to the crime.

“I anticipate a lengthy presentment from the people as we have a large number of witnesses to call and evidence to offer,” Sira said Monday.

She declined to comment on what can be anticipated from her during the trail or how many witnesses she may call to the stand.

Sira said 12 jurors will be selected and the number of alternates will be decided by Hoye.

Police arrested Dibble July 2 in the death of Gwenda L. Lisman, 58, who was found July 1 at 11:19 a.m. by a neighbor at Lisman’s home at 227 Mud Road, authorities said.

Authorities said Dibble shot his mother in the head with a rifle she borrowed from a neighbor to deal with a rodent problem in her garden.

Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey previously said Dibble and his mother may have been arguing over money and had a “tumultuous relationship.”

If convicted of second-degree murder, Dibble could face 25 years to life in prison, Sira said.

Sira previously said Dibble killed his mother for financial and material gain.

The criminal-possession charges stem from Dibble being in possession of stolen property consisting of jewelry belonging to Lisman and NASCAR collectibles belonging to Jeffrey Snell, according to the district attorney’s office. Dibble is accused of pawning the items for his own benefit, according to the district attorney’s office. According to the indictment, each of the items exceeded $1,000 in value.

Sira said Dibble used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot his mother.