Son charged with mom's murder in Fulton County

Posted at: 07/01/2013 5:04 PM
Updated at: 07/02/2013 6:27 PM
By: Dan Levy

Gwenda Lisman was found dead in her home Monday on Mud Road in Ephratah.
Gwenda Lisman was found dead in her home Monday on Mud Road in Ephratah.
Photo: Dan Levy / WNYT

EPHRATAH – Following a day-long search, authorities in Fulton County have a charged a man with second-degree murder after a woman's body was found inside her Ephratah home early Monday.

Police say Gwenda Lisman’s 29-year-old James Dibble, Lisman's son shot her in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. They say she had borrowed the gun to take care of some rodents in the back yard.

The investigation began after one of the neighbors went inside 227 Mud Rd. to find Lisman’s lifeless body.

"It is a shock. It's a blow. It feels like your security has been ripped out from underneath you," neighbor Monica Hisert said.

On day one of the investigation, Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey initially labeled it a suspicious death, and after a scheduled autopsy Tuesday morning, a homicide. 

"The house is in some disarray,” Lorey described.

Soon after deputies arrived, 29-year-old James Dibble, Lisman's son, had been declared a person of interest.

"We have reason to believe that they had been arguing in recent days over money,” the sheriff said.

Next door neighbor Tina George says this past weekend she overheard some of the arguing and became very concerned.

"I heard them arguing. I heard her tell him to get out and I never heard him talk but, I heard her holler,” George recalled.

"It raised suspicion because I never heard her holler like that before,” George added.

Neighbors say they think Dibble recently moved back in with his mother.

Lorey wasn’t sure where Dibble lived when he wasn’t staying with his mother.

“Don't have any way of knowing. He's a transient sort of character,” the sheriff said.

Lorey theorizes Dibble left his mother's house early Monday driving her Mercedes. An all points bulletin led to his capture Monday evening.

"She liked playing with the flowers and she would walk up and down the road and talk with everybody. She was a very nice lady,” neighbor Judy Sweeney said.

"We have handled a variety of homicides in the county, but not commonly in the town of Ephratah,” Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said.