Court Coverage: 3 guilty pleas entered at Lubbock County Courthouse

Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 3:45 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It was a busy day at the Lubbock County Courthouse. From murder to manslaughter, three guilty pleas were entered for three different cases.

Derek Kimbrough

The first plea of the morning was 35-year-old Derek Kimbrough. Kimbrough was charged with murder after fatally stabbing Jason Miranda at the Bentwood Apartments in 2021. Kimbrough told police multiple versions of what happened that night, arguing he stabbed Miranda out of self-defense.

Cassie Graham, the attorney for the State stated there was no evidence to back up his story.

“He said to detectives that he had taken a relentless beating from the victim; there are no wounds on his body whatsoever,” Graham said. “EMS checked him out on the scene and said there were no wounds on him.”

Kimbrough’s plea was submitted four days before his trial was set to begin. Kimbrough was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of Jason Miranda.

Kimbrough must serve half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Malachi Gibson

In another case, Malachi Gibson, 22, pleaded guilty to the murders of two people: Mia Altamirano and Michael Bean.

The murders took place in 2020 when Gibson and Ricky Clardy got into a verbal argument with the victims. The altercation escalated and Gibson and Clardy reportedly fired multiple gunshots.

Gibson was sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison, 20 years for each victim. Gibson’s sentences will run concurrent, meaning he will only serve 20 years.

Gibson will have to serve half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Jake Canales

Jake Canales, 19, was originally charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter on Thursday. Canales was involved in a 2021 shooting in the South Plains Mall parking lot. 18-year-old Christopher Castillo died in the shooting.

Barron Slack with the District Attorney’s Office explained why the state agreed to the lesser offense.

“Investigators determined that there could have been a negligent discharge involved or some kind of accident that related. We had to disclose that to the defense, it is our duty to do so. Based on that finding the better charge is manslaughter,” said Slack.

Canales was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Canales must serve a quarter of his sentence before the possibility of parole.