Suspects in Upatoi triple murder given nearly $1M bond each at Friday hearing

Suspects in Upatoi triple murder given nearly $1M bond each at Friday hearing

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A motion for a bond hearing was held on Friday for the three suspects accused of beating three family members to death in Upatoi.

The suspects, 15-year-old Rufus Burkes, 18-year-old Javarceay Tapley and 19-year-old Raheam Gibson, all appeared in superior court on Friday and heard the following bond amounts:

  • $300,000 for each count of murder (3 counts each)
  • $10,000 for possession of a knife during a crime
  • $30,000 for burglary
  • $30,000 theft by taking - motor vehicle

The trio facing three counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Gloria Short and her son Caleb Short and granddaughter Gianna Lindsey.

District Attorney Julia Slater told the judge if the suspects are released, she believes they are at risk of them intimidating and threatening witnesses, being a danger to the community and each other, not appearing in court and the possibility they may destroy evidence in the case.

"I have it in mind to not question judge's decision. Under the circumstances he had the authority to exercise discretion and he did. Whatever my opinions are about it, the judge has ruled. My client and I have accepted that," said Shevon Sutcliffe Thomas, attorney for Javarceay Tapley.

If an indictment is not by the end of July, Attorney Thomas made a motion to revisit the bond amount to get it to a lowered.

Columbus police detectives in the courtroom says this case is still very much under investigation.

The victims were found dead in their Upatoi home in January.

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