UPATOI MURDER TRIAL: Opening statements begin, family members give testimonies

UPATOI MURDER TRIAL: Opening statements begin, family members give testimonies
(Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The trial for the 2016 triple murder in Upatoi has begun after a week of questioning.

A total of 12 jurors with four alternates were finalized on Friday, Feb. 2. The trial for 17-year-old Rufus Burks began Monday, Feb. 5 at 9 a.m.

Burks is one of three original co-defendants accused in the murders of Gloria Short, 54, her son Caleb Short, 17, and granddaughter Gianna Lindsay, 10.

Raheam Gibson, 21, and Javarceay Tapley, 19, were originally defendants in the case alongside Burks, but both have since pleaded guilty, leaving Burks to stand trial alone.

An emotional day in court as witnesses were called to testify. Day one of testimony, Jurors hearing from members of victims family, law enforcement and attorneys..

Robert Short, husband, father, and grandfather of victims was one of the first to testify. Through tears he described and remembered the tragic moments when he entered the house.


"She was face down on top of some items, I didn't realize what they were at the time.. She was tied up, her hands were tied up, taped, and I could tell by her color she had been there for a while," said Short.

Follow Sharifa Jackson on Twitter for live coverage in the courtroom.

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