The verdict is in for 17-year-old Rufus Burks.
- *1 count of felony murder — GUILTY
- *1 count of kidnapping (with physical injury) — GUILTY
- *1 count of burglary — GUILTY
- *2 counts of theft by taking a motor vehicle — GUILTY
A mistrial has been declared for the first five counts
- 3 counts of malice murder
- 2 counts felony murder
Sentencing for this case has been scheduled for March 23 at 8:30 a.m.
17-year-old Rufus Burks was the last remaining defendant on trial in the deaths of Gloria Short, Caleb Short, and Gianna Lindsey who were found brutally murdered back in January 2016.
In just a few short hours a jury will be back in a courtroom Wednesday morning deciding the Fate of defendant Rufus Burks.
Jurors began their deliberations Tuesday afternoon.
After several hours of deliberation, they recessed for the day without reaching a verdict.
Both the prosecution and defense had one last chance to appeal to the jury during closing arguments early in the day Tuesday.
The defense for Burks placed sole blame for the murders of Gloria Short, Caleb Short, and Gianna Lindsey on former co-defendant Jervarceay Tapley. Tapley accepted a guilty plea for three counts of malice murder on January 30th.
“Prosecutors,” said it would have been too difficult for one person to subdue three people.
Jennifer Curry, Defense Attorney for Rufus Burks says, “This community is certainly looking for justice, myself included, I’m a member of this community. but we have to be mindful that there’s a difference between justice and closure. with that conviction of Jervarceay Tapley, we got justice, but we won’t have closure, this family won’t have closure, because they still won’t know what happened inside that house. Jervarceay Tapley is the only one who knows, and he’s not talking.”
Both the prosecution and defense have rested their cases in the Upatoi Triple Murder Trial. The last witness to take the stand was a GBI medical examiner who performed the autopsies on 54-year-old Gloria Short, her son 17-year-old Caleb Short, and her granddaughter 10-year-old Gianna Lindsey. All three were found violently beaten and stabbed to death on January 4, 2016.
Doctor Natasha Grandhi stood before the jury to explain graphic photos of the victim’s injuries.
The last remaining defendant in the case, 17-year-old Rufus Burks, put his hands over his face or at times closed his eyes as the prosecution showed the graphic photos of Gloria, Caleb and Gianna who were all beaten so badly, Doctor Grandhi says their skulls were fractured.
We now know only Gianna and Gloria suffered sharp force injuries, which is the forensic term for a cut or a stab would. There were also signs both women put up a struggle.
“Primarily on the left arm, are in a distribution that can be found in defensive injuries,” says Doctor Natasha Grandhi.
After Dr. Grandhi finished her testimony, the prosecution rested its case. Judge McBride advised the defendant Burks of his rights to take the stand, but Burks refused so the defense rested its case.
Both sides will now take Monday night to prepare their closing arguments before the jury decides if they find Rufus Burks innocent or guilty.
The prosecution in the Upatoi Triple Murder Trial Against 17-year-old Rufus Burks will be calling its last witness on Monday.
That witness-key to the case — is the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsies of murder victims Gloria Short, Caleb Short, and Gianna Lindsey.
The 54-year-old grandmother, her 17-year-old son and 10-year-old granddaughter were brutally murdered back in January of 2016.
Thursday afternoon, the court recessed for the weekend after the pathologist was unable to testify. The two other defendants –Jervarceay Tapley and Raheam Gibson have already pled guilty in the case leaving Burks the lone defendant in the Triple Murder
Following Monday’s testimony, the prosecution is expected to rest its case against Burks.