Upatoi murder suspects face same charges in newly released indictment

Upatoi murder suspects face same charges in newly released indictment

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - News Leader 9 has new developments to a story that horrified and shook the community earlier this year, as formal charges have been filed against two teens and a 20 year old from Columbus accused of killing three Upatoi family members.

A formal indictment, or charges, now face 16-year-old Rufus Burks, 18-year-old Jervarceay Tapley, and 20-year-old Raheam Gibson. All three are facing the same charges which include three counts of malice murder, three counts of felony murder, one count of kidnapping, burglary, and two theft charges.

The three are accused of participating in the murders of 17-year-old Caleb Short, 11-year-old Gianna Lindsey, and her 54-year-old grandmother Gloria Short, at their Upatoi home just after the holidays this past January.

The indictment accuses the group of kidnapping Caleb Short, and also includes felony murder charges which, by definition, means someone died during the commission of a felony.

The suspects also face malice murder charges, which indicates specific intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm. The indictment also states Gloria Short and her granddaughter died by blunt force trauma to the head and stabbing, while Caleb Short died solely of blunt force trauma to the head.

WTVM reached out to the District Attorney's office, and they had no comment. Attorney Jennifer Curry representing 16-year-old Burks tells WTVM she's surprised to see the indictment since the crime report hasn't returned from lab testing.

Curry says in just a few days, on Aug. 5, there will be an arraignment. She adds that she's glad to see this case going to court so soon.

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.