UPATOI TRIPLE MURDER TRIAL: District attorney speaks on future court proceedings

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It was days and hours of deliberating in the case against Rufus Burks.

The 17-year-old is charged with the brutal murders of Gloria Short, Caleb Short, and Gianna Lindsey in their Upatoi home.

Burks was the youngest of three defendants and the only one to go to trial. The jury returned a partial verdict.

Columbus Chief District Attorney, Al Whitaker, says a verdict in the Upatoi triple murder trial is only the beginning of another long road of court proceedings.

"You have three generations that were wiped out in one night, they are hurting, and they will probably continue to hurt," said Whitaker.

Family members of Gloria Short, Caleb Short and Gianna Lindsey who were brutally murdered in their home continue to fight for justice even though the trial is seemingly over.

The Columbus jury found Burks guilty of five of 10 charges: one count of felony murder, kidnapping, burglary, and two counts of theft by taking.

The jurors were unable to agree on five other counts of murder. The judge declared a mistrial on those charges.

While Burks' defense attorneys, Jennifer Curry, says she is working on an appeal, prosecutors can decide if they want to retry Burks on those counts the jury did not agree on.

"You have to get life for felony murder. Would the court be inclined to give him more than that if we re-tried him? We are going to assess that and see if going back to trial will add anything to the actual sentence he received," said Whitaker.

Burks is facing two life sentences plus 40 years. He is facing a life sentence for the felony murder, a life sentence on the kidnapping charge plus bodily injuries, 20 years for burglary, and 10 years each on the theft.

Sentencing will be held March 23 at 1 p.m.

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