Neighbors discuss safety in Upatoi years after triple murder - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Neighbors discuss safety in Upatoi years after triple murder

UPATOI, GA (WTVM) -

After countless delays, the trial for three young men accused of brutal triple murder in Upatoi is set to begin in just days.

Two years ago, in January 2016, police responded to a home on Bentley Drive where 52-year old Gloria Short, her 17-year-old son, Caleb Short, and her 10-year old grand-daughter, Gianna Lindsey were all found dead.

The news and circumstances of their death not only sent shock throughout the small Upatoi community but also through the whole Chattahoochee Valley.

“We are closer than ever, we do look after each other and we are a lot more cautious when we see people we are not familiar with," says a neighbor within the Cedar Pointe subdivision.

The neighbor, who did not want to be identified says the community is standing strong following the tragic incident and taking extra precautions for everyone’s safety.

“There are cameras that belong to the neighborhood, but there are also cameras in everybody’s home. People would be able to see who has been coming into the neighborhood, or who has been to their houses," says the neighbor. 

Neighbors say they find comfort knowing this was not a random act, but also realize things will never be quite the same.

“It’s made us a lot more cautious. We still love living where we live, we still feel safe, but it has made us a lot more cautious," says the neighbor.

The three charged with the horrific act, all teens: Raheem Daniel Gibson, Jervarceay Tapley, and Rufus Lanard Burks.

All were between the ages of 15 and 19 when the crime occurred and are collectively facing over 30 charges, from malice murder to kidnapping.

Jury selection begins Monday, Jan. 29th at 9 a.m.

Superior Court Judge, Gil McBride is presiding over the trial. 

Defense attorney for Burks, Jennifer Curry is still fighting for a change of venue. The judge says he will consider that motion only after the selection of a jury begins.

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