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Man turns self in, defends fatal punch

Gary Durham admits to punching Timothy Gibbs after their vehicles nearly collided two weeks ago. But Durham says he threw the punch in self-defense and didn't intend to kill the man.

Gibbs, 48, fell and hit his head on the asphalt, police said. Durham drove off. Gibbs was hospitalized a week and a half before dying.

Last week, police said they were looking for Durham. On Saturday, he turned himself in at the Orient Road jail and was charged with second-degree felony manslaughter. He was accompanied by his attorney, Craig Huffman.

Gibbs and Durham traded insults and hand gestures after a near collision on Oct. 28 near 10001 N Armenia Ave.

Huffman said Durham got out of his car and approached Gibbs' vehicle. He said Gibbs showed Durham a gun in the vehicle.

Gibbs then suggested the two pull into the parking lot of an auto repair store, which is owned by a friend of Gibbs', Huffman said. Huffman said Gibbs balled up his fist to punch Durham, and that's when Durham hit Gibbs in the head.

However, an employee of the auto repair shop who witnessed the encounter said last week that Gibbs had turned his head, and Durham "sucker-punched" him.

Gibbs, of 2107 Seaman Road, Tampa, had a criminal history dating back to 1993. He was released from prison on a grand theft auto charge in August, according to state prison records. He also served prison time for aggravated assault, trafficking in stolen property and grand theft.

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