LIVE BLOG: Upatoi murder suspect who pleaded guilty testifies in - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

LIVE BLOG: Upatoi murder suspect who pleaded guilty testifies in trial

Raheam Gibson (Source: WTVM) Raheam Gibson (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Testimony resumed in the Upatoi triple murder trial in Columbus.

Rufus Burks is being tried for his role in the deaths of Gloria Short, her son Caleb and granddaughter Gianna Lindsey.

For the first time, we are hearing from one of the suspects in the Upatoi triple murder trial.

The 21 year old suspect, Raheam Gibson pleading guilty to charges last week ahead of the trial, in return having to testify against co-defednant, Rufus Burks, someone he says he knew only two months before the deadly night in Upatoi.

District Attorney, Al Whitaker: “Who was the person making the plans?”

Raheam Gibson: “Javarceay Tapley.”

District Attorney, Al Whitaker: “And what was those plans?”

Raheam Gibson: “To make a lick on his cousin house.”

District Attorney, Al Whitaker: “What is a lick?”

Raheam Gibson: “To Burglarize.”


Three suspects, Javarceay Tapley, Rufus Burks, and then there is Raheam Gibson.

Gibson holding fast to his testimony that he had no parts in the brutal killings of Gloria Short, her teenage son Caleb, and 10-year-old granddaughter, Gianna Lindsey.

Al Whitaker, District Attorney "Could you hear anything in the house?

Raheam Gibson: no, sir.”

Al Whitaker, District Attorney: “Could you see anything in the house?”

Raheam Gibson: “no sir.”


While on the stand Gibson says the trio traveled from South Columbus on a Moped and a bike. Leaving around 6 p.m. and finally making it to their destination around 11 p.m.

One call to Caleb Short started something that would end up deadly.

Al Whitaker, District Attorney: “What happened when Caleb came outside of that door?”

Raheam Gibson: “Javarceay snatches him, and pinned him to the ground, he told us to help, I said no. Rufus went to help.”

Al Whitaker, District Attorney: “What was happening to Caleb at that point and time.”

Raheam Gibson: “They was taping him up on the side of the house.."

Al Whitaker: “Who is they?”

Raheam Gibson: “Rufus and Javarceay.”


Gibson says he stayed outside the whole time, only seeing Rufus and Javarceay again once they were ready to leave.

Columbus police investigators detail crime scene photos that show blue painters tape around the victims' hands, neck, and legs.

Gory and gruesome details, Gibson says he knew nothing about.

He reportedly told his sister and mom about being at the home after seeing the news.

Even with Gibson pleading guilty, the state's recommendation is still 30 years in prison.

He will be sentenced after the trial.

In an opening statement, Burks's attorney asked jurors to keep an open mind about the case, saying her client was not involved in the actual killing. 

Sharifa Jackson is live tweeting in the courtroom. 

Follow News Leader 9's Sharifa Jackson for updates. 

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 11:02 AM EDT2018-04-26 15:02:25 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>
  • Texas gang member executed for killing girl, grandmother

    Texas gang member executed for killing girl, grandmother

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:55 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:55:40 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-26 05:23:56 GMT
    (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP). This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week fo...(Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP). This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week fo...
    Attorneys for a condemned Texas prisoner are asking the US Supreme Court to halt his execution for killing a young girl and her grandmother in 2008.More >>
    Attorneys for a condemned Texas prisoner are asking the US Supreme Court to halt his execution for killing a young girl and her grandmother in 2008.More >>
  • Drunken mom accused of letting kid drive, police say

    Drunken mom accused of letting kid drive, police say

    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:29 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:29:18 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:32 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:32:22 GMT

    Sheboygan County sheriff`s deputies arrived and pulled her over. Hauke denies her 12-year old daughter was in her lap, steering the car. Dashcam video shows she also was reluctant to speak with deputies.

    More >>

    Sheboygan County sheriff`s deputies arrived and pulled her over. Hauke denies her 12-year old daughter was in her lap, steering the car. Dashcam video shows she also was reluctant to speak with deputies.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly