Mark Gibson, an 18-year veteran of the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and a career prosecutor, has received the Outstanding Service Award from the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
The annual award recognizes the best assistant prosecuting attorney in Missouri.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “The people of Platte County and the State of Missouri are fortunate that Mark Gibson has dedicated his entire three-decade career to public service. He is an extraordinary lawyer who embraces the special duty of a prosecutor to not just win a case but to see that justice is done.”
Gibson began his career as an assistant attorney general upon his graduation from the University of Missouri Law School in 1991. He then served as the first assistant prosecuting attorney in Johnson County, Mo. from 1995 to 2004. Since 2004, he has served as the first assistant prosecuting attorney in Platte County.
As first assistant, Gibson supervises 12 other assistant prosecuting attorneys, and he has mentored dozens of other lawyers during his tenure. A former teacher, Mark excels at teaching young lawyers how to zealously but ethically practice law and represent the State of Missouri with excellence.
Gibson continues to carry his own caseload of serious felonies. In December 2021, he obtained four first degree murder convictions in the only quadruple murder case in modern Platte County history.
In 2020, he secured a first degree murder conviction for a family of four teenage children whose mother killed their father—a circumstantial case from 2007 that took years to build. And he served as a special prosecutor in an Andrew County murder-for-hire scheme in 2009, convicting all four men involved.
Gibson has frequently presented seminars on sexual assault prosecutions, courtroom testimony, jury selection, and other issues to law enforcement officers, medical personnel, and fellow prosecutors. He also serves as a legal instructor at the Kansas City Police Department Academy.
Gibson said, “To paraphrase one of my heroes, legendary basketball coach John Wooden, success is knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. I’ve had the great opportunity to work with a team in Platte County who want to succeed in obtaining justice for victims of crime while protecting the rights of everyone, including criminal defendants.”
According to Zahnd, Gibson has an inexhaustible work ethic. It’s common for him to work 18-hour days preparing search warrants for murder investigations or getting ready for important trials. Zahnd said there are also countless other times where Gibson has been in the office alone, late into the night, simply doing what needs to be done in the day-to-day work of a prosecutor’s office.
But hard work is no substitute for something that often cannot be taught: demeanor. Zahnd said, “Mark is patient, kind, willing to listen, and always treats others with respect. Many judges, defense attorneys, victims, police officers, witnesses, and even a defendant or two have remarked about how pleasant Mark is to deal with—even when they disagreed with something he was doing. Mark is even-keeled, deferential, and polite, even while he maintains a steadfast dedication to doing justice.”