PEOPLE OF MI V JAMES ALBERT GIBSONAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
October 30, 1998
LC No. 96-502114
JAMES ALBERT GIBSON,
Before: Young, Jr., P.J., and Wahls and Jansen, JJ.
Defendant appeals as of right his conviction for involuntary manslaughter, MCL 750.321; MSA
28.553, entered after a bench trial. We affirm. This appeal is being decided without oral argument
pursuant to MCR 7.214(E).
Defendant was found guilty in the death of his step-daughter, who fell off of the roof of a van
defendant was driving. The court found that defendant was grossly negligent in allowing an unsecured
child to ride on the top of a van. The sentencing guidelines range was scored at 24 to 84 months. At
sentencing, the trial court found that defendant acted in willful disregard of the child’s safety. Defendant
showed no visible signs of remorse, left the scene of the accident, and failed to pay for the child’s burial
although he had collected burial insurance proceeds. The court sentenced defendant to 2½ to 15 years’
imprisonment. On appeal, defendant argues that his sentence is disproportionate.
A sentence within the guidelines range is presumptively proportionate. People v Broden, 428
Mich 343, 354-355; 408 NW2d 789 (1987); People v Hogan, 225 Mich App 431, 437; 571 NW2d
751 (1997). A defendant has the burden of presenting unusual circumstances which would overcome
that presumption. Id.; People v Daniel, 207 Mich App 47, 54; 523 NW2d 830 (1994). Factors such
as employment, lack of criminal history, and minimum culpability are not unusual circumstances that
would overcome the presumption. Id.
Defendant has failed to identify any unusual circumstances that would require a departure from
the guidelines. Defendant raises the same circumstances that this Court found insufficient to challenge
the sentence in Daniel. Defendant’s sentence was at the low end of the guidelines range. There is no
showing that it was disproportionate to the offense or the offender. People v Milbourn, 435 Mich
630; 461 NW2d 1 (1990).
/s/ Robert P. Young, Jr.
/s/ Myron H. Wahls
/s/ Kathleen Jansen