Jacqui-Lyn Jones couldn’t speak.
For a full minute, she stood in the courtroom, tears rolling down her face while she held the microphone, waiting for the lump in her throat to subside at least enough for her to talk.
When her voice came back, she told everyone in the room at the Spokane County Courthouse how Donavan L. Gibson shattered her family when he murdered her son.
“He had dreams, he had two beautiful children. … His heart was gold,” Jones said Friday at Gibson’s sentencing. “How could this have happened to my boy?”
Devan Bouge was a funny, talented, smart and creative man, Jones said. He liked video games. He loved doing a Russian accent to make people laugh. He was 24.
On Nov. 20, 2018, Bouge was with his girlfriend, Sasha Ross Gibson, at her house in Spokane. Donavan Gibson, Sasha Ross Gibson’s estranged husband, drove from his home in Cheney to the residence. He barged in and shot Bouge and Sasha Ross Gibson two times in the head each. Sasha Ross Gibson – now Sasha Ross – survived, but suffered life-changing injuries.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno sentenced Gibson to 28 years, seven months in prison for first-degree murder and first-degree assault. He won’t be eligible for release until his mid-60s. Upon completion of his sentence, he’ll have three years of probation. Gibson also will have to pay $548,879.35 in restitution, mainly for Ross’s massive medical bills. The terms of his sentence were part of a plea deal.
Sasha Ross was nearly shouting when she recounted the grisly events from Nov. 20, 2018.
“He looked me in the eyes as I pleaded no and then fired a gun into my head,” she said.
While Ross survived the shooting, she paid a heavy price. She’s now confined to a motorized wheelchair, has limited use of her hands and struggles with memory loss. She said she has to work two jobs to pay her medical expenses.
She still hasn’t physically recovered from the shooting, and she knows her psychological wounds will never heal. It wasn’t just the shooting that traumatized her.
Ross said during their five years living together, Gibson constantly manipulated, surveilled and raped her. She said he kept a loaded gun next to their bed, told her stories about killing animals and threatened to kill himself or hurt her if she left him.
“I was terrified to leave,” she said.
Gibson, in his late 30s, apologized to Bouge’s family and Ross.
In a monotone voice, he told the courtroom that he grew up in an abusive household and repeatedly saw his mom brutally beaten. He said he has struggled with mental illness for years, but got worse after his father died in 2013.
He added that he knows he’s not the victim.
“I must live with this shame for the rest of my life,” he said, choking up. “I’m so sorry.”
Ross’ and Bouge’s family members all asked that Gibson be given the maximum punishment allowed by law.
“The impact it has had on (Bouge’s) children is devastating,” said Benjamin Masuoka, Bouge’s uncle. “Our family will be forever broken.”