Judge agrees to postpone Upatoi murder trial, family frustrated after trial delayed again

Columbus, GA (WTVM) - News Leader 9 confirms there's been another delay in the start of the Upatoi murder trial.

Superior Court Judge Gil McBride agreed to postpone trial during the latest pre-trial hearing Monday. The new trial date will be January 29, 2018.

News Leader 9 spoke to Mark Shelnutt, the defense attorney representing Raheam Gibson, one of the three suspects in this case.

Shelnutt said his office, and other co-counsel, have received a massive amount of material that's known as "discovery." Defense attorneys are entitled to this information during pre-trial, but Shelnutt said his team needs time to sift through this information in order to prepare their cases in court. 

"The judge has listened to our arguments," Shelnutt said. "And the district attorney's office just deferred to what the court's ruling was... and the court ruled that the trial would be on the 29th of January.  set that date, and I think that was a fair decision. I think he's trying to be fair to both sides."

A start date of January 29, 2018, would come two years after the three victims, Gloria Short, her son, 17-year-old Caleb Short, and her 10-year-old granddaughter Gianna Lindsey, were found lying inside Gloria's Upatoi home, beaten to death.

A family member, Shameika Averett, who lost her daughter, mother and brother in killings, released the following statement following the delayed trial:

"My family and I are very frustrated. However, we don't want to risk having this to be tried again. We want the trial to happen and everything to be done according to the law...it's hard having to think about next year, but with God we have come this far; we are going to just try to focus on the holidays and spending time with each other."

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