Killer gets 25 years to life

JOHNSTOWN – An Ephratah man who was found guilty in April of killing his mother at her home last summer was sentenced to 25 years to life this morning by Fulton County Court Judge Polly Hoye.

A jury previously found James F. Dibble, 30, guilty on all counts, including second-degree murder, 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.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said she was pleased with the sentencing. She pointed out Dibble waived his right to appeal all of the charges.

“He received the maximum and we obtained the very valuable waiver to appeal,” Sira said.

Dibble received 25 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction. Dibble also received 3 1/2 to seven years for criminal possession of a weapon, two to four years for fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and one year for criminal possession of stolen property charge. The time for those convictions will be served concurrently with the 25 years to life for the murder conviction.

During victim-impact statements at the sentencing, Dibble stared at the floor and table in front of him while dressed in an orange jumpsuit from the Fulton County Jail.

Police arrested Dibble on July 2 in the death of Gwenda L. Lisman, 58, who was found July 1 by a neighbor at Lisman’s home at 227 Mud Road, 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, officials said. According to the indictment and testimony during the trial, the killing took place between June 30 and July 1.

Previously in 2013, state police had arrested Dibble on a felony charge for allegedly collecting $5,600 in unemployment benefits while he was employed with Bast Hatfield.

As a result, Dibble also was sentenced by Hoye to three to six years in prison for third-degree grand larceny and two to four years for offering a false instrument for filing. That time will be served concurrently with the murder sentence.

More on this story will appear in Friday’s print and online editions.