Police: Son killed mother in Ephratah

EPHRATAH – A 29-year-old man shot and killed his mother at her home with a .22-caliber rifle, authorities said.

James F. Dibble was charged Monday with second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Gwenda L. Lisman, 57, who was found Monday by a neighbor at Lisman’s home at 227 Mud Road, authorities said.

Officials late Monday afternoon were looking for Dibble, who was last seen driving Lisman’s 1997 green Mercedes, officials said. Authorities later found him in the Mercedes on School Street in Mayfield and arrested him without incident, officials said.

Dibble was arraigned around 2:20 a.m. today before Fulton County Judge Richard C. Giardino and sent to the Fulton County Jail without bail, Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said.

Authorities said Dibble shot his mother in the head with a rifle she had borrowed from a neighbor to deal with a rodent problem.

“We have reason to believe that they have been arguing in recent days over money,” Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said Monday.

Officials said Lisman’s house was in disarray when law-enforcement officials went through it Monday. Lorey said he couldn’t say whether anything was missing from the residence.

“It was not in the condition that you would normally expect to find a house that was inhabited by a lady,” Lorey said.

Authorities said he could not yet say when Dibble allegedly shot his mother, but Lorey said he believes Dibble was at the house Sunday night, and neighbors said they saw Lisman at her house Saturday and Sunday.

Lorey said Dibble lived at the residence with his mother “off and on.”

Lisman worked in the area, officials said. Her family was coming from out of state after hearing about the woman’s death, Lorey said.

Neighbors in the area of Mud Road described the community as a small, quiet place to live.

Lisman’s next-door neighbor, Tina George, who has lived on Mud Road for 13 years, described Lisman as a kind woman who was known by many in the neighborhood.

George said she last saw Lisman on Saturday when she heard arguing at the house. George said she saw Lisman go to her car before Dibble left the residence walking down the road with a backpack and fishing pole in hand.

“It was pretty loud; she just said she wanted him out of the house,” George said.

She described Dibble as a quiet man. She said she had little interaction with him.

“It is sad to know that someone with such a good heart would have to pay such a bad price,” George said. “It just makes you more cautious of who is around you.”

She said Dibble moved into the residence about two months ago.

Another neighbor, Vivian Sweeney, described “Wendy,” as Lisman was known in the neighborhood, as a nice woman who would offer a hand to anyone in need.

“She would do anything for any of her neighbors,” Sweeney said. “She was very friendly and loved her flowers.”

Matt Sweeney said he last saw Lisman when he was on his bike around 3:30 p.m. Sunday outside of her residence.

Some neighbors said they had seen Dibble around but never had any interaction with him.

“We have had a variety of homicides in different areas of the county, but not commonly in the town of Ephratah,” Sira said about the crime.

Authorities said Dibble’s case will go to a grand jury. They said he could face more charges.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Dibble could face up to 25 years in prison.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Fulton County Court.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at [email protected].

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