‘I’m going to go down for it:’ Father charged after baby allegedly got her hands on Percocet and died

Robert Gibson

WEST ALLIS — A West Allis father is facing a charge of child neglect in connection with the death of his daughter, born in January of 2017. Prosecutors say the baby got her hands on Perocet pills at her home, and later died.

The 1-year-old girl died on July 28 at a home near 88th and Maple in West Allis.

According to a criminal complaint, police were called out to the home around 1 p.m. The child’s mother was found holding the girl’s lifeless body, and Robert Gibson was sitting close by, and said “(expletive) cold already.” He said he put the child to sleep around 9:30 p.m. on July 27 and found her “with a face full of puke” just prior to the mother calling 911.

Prosecutors say it was discovered that the mother worked from 7 p.m. on July 27 through 2 a.m. on July 28, and the baby was home alone as Gibson drove the mother to and from work. When the mother arrived home, she said she peeked in to check on the baby and she appeared to be asleep in her crib.

She said around 10 a.m. on the 28th, she checked on the baby again, and she still appeared to be sleeping. Around 1 p.m., Gibson checked on the baby and the mother heard him yell. She ran into the room and saw the girl’s lifeless body — attempting CPR to no avail.

The complaint says Gibson told investigators he checked on the baby every hour until the mother arrived home from work. Prosecutors say he denied any illegal drug use, saying he "has too much going on to be a drug user."

However, an upstairs neighbor told investigators Gibson "is a known drug abuser who has left the baby home alone unattended on numerous occasions." He reported that Gibson and the baby's mother both abuse Xanax and Percocet pills. The neighbor described "a loud argument" on July 27 between Gibson and Gibson's father about missing Percocet pills -- and Gibson apparently told his father he believed the child got a hold of the missing pills.

The complaint says this neighbor provided a text message from Gibson on July 25 that said: "Yo can u go check n year (hear) if (the baby) is awake? Will be back in 45 min."

Another text message from July 17 read: "You u still got 10 of them left," and then "wrong person sorry bro."

The complaint says the neighbor saw Gibson leave the baby home along on July 26 for approximately 45 minutes. On July 27, the day before the baby died, he saw Gibson and the mother leave the home with the baby inside -- when Gibson took the mother to work. Gibson returned about 40 minutes later.

According to the complaint, on the day after the baby's death, the neighbor recorded conversations involving Gibson and the mother -- regarding the circumstances surrounding the baby's death, and provided those recordings to investigators.

In one recording, the mother is heard on the phone saying "(Gibson) found a piece of cellophane in her mouth that she was choking on, trying to puke and swallowed three pills. (Gibson) said he was going to get (expletive)." In another recording, she said "I guarantee that most of it came out. They took her bed sheets and everything, but they're going to find (expletive) percs. I know she got into some of it." A third recording involved a conversation between Gibson and the neighbor, in which Gibson said "I'm just afraid they are going to see that it's in her system and I'm going to go down for it because there are texts and everything. My dad saw her put something in her mouth after we were looking for those percs, a bag of (expletive) percs. I seen something put in her mouth and I chased after her and it was gone." He admitted to finding a bag of Percocets on the ground, but said it was "chewed and stuff." A fourth recording involved a conversation between the neighbor and the parents. Gibson said he found a plastic baggie "in the crib, right next to her," and the mother said "in her mouth." Gibson said "I know she is still going to have (percs) in her system and someone is getting charged for it. It was my fatherly (expletive) duty. I was the one watching her. It was my responsibility. We better get our stories straight."

The complaint says investigators interviewed the mother, who confirmed that Gibson purchased 12 Percocet pills, and his father had come over on July 27 to obtain them from Gibson but he could not locate them. She said Gibson told her he removed three Percocet pills from the crib.

A review of Gibson's text messages revealed he used Suboxone, Xanax and Percocets, and the day before the baby's death, he set up a deal to purchase 20 Perocet pills at TJ Maxx at 76th and Coldspring.

The complaint says an autopsy on the baby revealed she suffered "acute oxycodone intoxication."

Gibson faces one count of chronic neglect of a child, consequence is death.