UPATOI MURDER TRIAL: 2 defendants to stand trial; third defendant ordered to testify
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Day one proves to be a whirlwind of emotions inside of the courtroom in the Upatoi murder trial, last-minute pleas changing how this case will move forward.
Rufus Burks, Javarceay Tapley, and Raheem Gibson are accused of brutally killing Gloria Short, 54, her 17-year old son, Caleb Short and 10-year- old granddaughter, Gianna Lindsey two years ago.
Two of the defendants agreed to enter guilty pleas to the charges of murder.
Jervarceay Tapley entered a motion to plead guilty to the charges of murder, only to withdraw that decision moments later.
The oldest of the defendants, 21-year-old Raheam Gibson is moving forward with his decision,
While the terms of his plea are not all clear, what we do know is that he will be required to testify at some point during the trial. The judge will sentence Gibson afterward. However, Burks and Tapley will move forward with the trial.
They each face 10 charges, from murder, kidnapping, to burglary.
Attorneys are still in the process of selecting a jury. Out of a pool of 120 people, attorneys are working to narrow that number down to 12 along with two alternates.
Follow News Leader 9 Sharifa Jackson for continuous updates.