PUHI — The attorney of the woman shot to death in a murder-suicide earlier this week said his client told him to “go slow” during divorce proceedings because her husband had made suicidal threats.
“(Justin Chayse) Gibbons was not represented by a lawyer, and I met with him several times to discuss and sign papers for an uncontested divorce,” said Lawrence McCreery. “(Celestae Gibbons) told me that he had threatened to kill himself in the past, and she asked me to ‘go slow’ to give him time to adjust to the separation and divorce.”
Although she did not ask him to seek a temporary restraining order, her employer told The Garden Island Tuesday she had arrived late from lunch Monday after returning from the Fifth Circuit Court to begin the process of filing a TRO.
According to the Kauai Police Department, Celestae arrived home at 10 p.m. Monday with her 9-year-old daughter. When she got of her car, Justin Gibbons came up and an argument began. Justin shot her, according to police.
Celestae ran into a nearby unit, but Justin Gibbons followed and shot her again, police said.
Justin Gibbons then ran outside the complex and fatally shot himself.
Both Justin Gibbons and Celestae Gibbons were pronounced dead at the scene.
The girl was unharmed. On Tuesday, she was taken into custody of Child Protective Services.
“There was no set schedule, but the divorce decree provided that Chayse’s visitation with the daughter would be arranged between the parents,” McCreery said. “The decree also established a child support obligation, but to the best of my knowledge, Celestae was left to support herself and her daughter without financial assistance from the ex-husband and father.”
McCreery said Justin had accumulated a large debt and vacillated between short-term jobs and unemployment.
Celestae lived with her daughter at Halelani Village in Puhi and had recently been visited by her mother, who left a day before the tragedy, said Dr. Terry Allen.
“Celestae was a beautiful and classy woman who had gotten a new life established for her and her daughter after the separation from her ex-husband,” he said. “I will not soon forget Celestae’s smiling face and patience; she was a dedicated mother and worked hard to make a stable life for her daughter and herself.”
A fund for Celestae’s daughter has been created by Dr. Allen and as of Thursday, 86 people donated almost $8,000.
To contribute: https://www.youcaring.com/celestae-gibbons-604791#.V49A37H0Q4r.facebook.