Crime Watch

Testimony continues in Upatoi Triple Murder Trial

Now through day three of the Upatoi Triple Murder Trial and it's been a long day of testimony.

Jurors heard more on efforts by the investigators to find evidence against 17-year-old Rufus Burks, 19-year-old Jervarceay Tapley and 21-year-old Raheam Gibson.

All three faced charges in the murders of a Upatoi grandmother, her son and granddaughter, that is until Tapley and Gibson pleaded guilty last week. Now  Burks sits as the only defendant on trial.

Wednesday the state called another half dozen witnesses to confirm what went into identifying Burks, Tapley and Gibson as suspects.

Tuesday, Raheam Gibson took the stand as part of his plea deal. He said he was involved in the planning and making it to the Short home the night of January 3, 2016, but never entered the house.

He says he only left with a few of Caleb Short's stolen items. We now believe we know what happened to those items after the case's lead detective testified a search warrant turned up clothes and several pairs of shoes in Both Tapley's and Burks' homes. 

Monday we heard from Caleb Short's sister and father who told us the 17-year-old loved to collect Air Jordans sneakers.

We looked at photos of Caleb wearing those items and Facebook photos of the suspects wearing the exact same things shortly after the murders. Gibson also confessed to police the route he, Burks and Tapley took to make it to Bently Drive.

An expert Columbus Police Department Forensic Phone Analyst explained how she was able to confirm Gibson's claim.

"What does that indicate about the movement of Mr. Burks' phone?" says Christopher Williams.

"That the phone was traveling from the south end of own at 6:03 traveling north, then out towards Upatoi," says Cpl. Sandra Hickey.

She also confirmed another call from Tapley's phone put him squarely at the scene calling Caleb Short just before the murders.

The state plans next to introduce map photos of the route and attempt to pinpoint where Tapley, Burks and Gibson went by playing surveillance video from businesses along the route.

Georgia News

Alabama News

Latest Stories