Suspect in elderly Columbus woman's murder smoked crack prior to arrest

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The suspect in the death of an elderly Columbus woman made his first court appearance Thursday, where a Columbus police detective detailed the drug-induced state of his arrest.

Police say that Angelo Short, 42, is connected to the death of 83-year-old Peggy Gamble, but has not been charged with murder.

During his recorder's court appearance, Short was given a $50,000 bond apiece for the stolen vehicle and robbery charges. He was denied bond for the aggravated assault charge. His case was bound over to superior court.

The robbery charge stems from Short being accused of stealing cigarettes from the Piggly Wiggly on Brown Avenue Tuesday and assaulting a cashier, unrelated to the stolen vehicle charge, according to CPD Detective Stewart Carter.

The car was later recovered in Columbus after midnight on Nov. 29 on 10th Street near Illges Road, Carter testified. A number of witnesses said they saw a man identified as Short abandoning the car there. Other witnesses testified that they saw Short traveling in the car with an unknown person the same day investigators found Gamble dead in her home.

Later on Nov. 29, witnesses told police that Short had been spotted in the area of Coolidge Avenue and had been sleeping in abandoned houses in the area, Carter continued.

Short was eventually found in a room in an abandoned building on Lawyers Lane, where he yelled at officers to kill him when police made contact with him. Carter also testified that Short took out a glass pipe and began smoking crack cocaine in front of them. Officers eventually used a stun gun to subdue him and take him into custody.

Carter said when questioned, Short said that he punched the grocery store cashier because she flinched as if she was taking the cigarettes from him. Short did not confirm or deny that he had Gamble's car or had any information on Gamble's death.

The car is still being processed, but Carter testified that blood evidence and fingerprints were found in the vehicle. They did not specify if the evidence was related to Gamble's death.

Gamble was found dead in her 8th Street home on Nov. 28. When CPD homicide detectives arrived at her home, they saw that her 1988 Toyota Corolla was missing.

Short was identified as Gamble's step-grandson by police. Short is the son of a man married to one of Gamble's daughters. Gamble's family made a brief statement following Short's court appearance.

"I would like to say a special thanks to the Columbus Police Department - the detectives - for the steps they have gone in assisting us to finally realize what actually has taken place," Miriam Short, Peggy Gamble's daughter, said.

The family also requested privacy during this time.

Check back for more updates.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said that Angelo Short was charged with murder. That was not correct. He is a suspect in Gamble's death but has not been charged. 

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