Gaston County woman pleads guilty in killing of husband, two others

Crystal Gambino
Crystal Gambino

Crystal Gambino, accused of fatally shooting her husband and two others in Feb. 2016, pleaded guilty in court Monday morning as part of a plea deal.

The plea is part of a deal worked out between her lawyers and District Attorney Locke Bell.

Under the terms of the deal, Gambino pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter.

A judge sentenced Gambino to 23 to 29 years in prison on the murder charges and six to eight years on the manslaughter charge. The sentences will be served one after the other, not at the same time as is often typical in cases with multiple offenses.

Gambino, 42, was expected to plead guilty several months ago, in December 2016, but that hearing was unexpectedly canceled by Bell.

Police were called to a welfare check at Gambino’s home on Feb. 29, 2016, where they say they found the bodies of Giovanni Gambino, Geoffrey Gilliland and Stephanie Sanchez.

A concerned family member who initiated the welfare check met police at the home, on Alexis-Lucia Road in Charlotte.

All three were found naked with gunshot wounds, according to police. Investigators said all three were shot in a bedroom inside the Gambinos’ home, and then Sanchez was moved to the backyard.

Gambino was arrested a short time later in Stanly and charged with first-degree murder in the killing of her husband, Giovanni Gambino.