UPDATE 6:24 p.m. — Three Columbus criminal street gang members were convicted of multiple murder, drug and gang charges Tuesday afternoon.
Roderick Glanton’s and brothers Terrance and Homer Upshaw’s guilty convictions resulted from the deadly 2021 Wilson Apartment shooting that claimed the lives of 18-year-old Saiveon Pugh and 17-year-old Jesse Ransom.
The top gang prosecutor in Georgia tried the case and everyone involved with the case from the accused to the victims were Columbus criminal street gang members.
During the trial, the clerk repeated “guilty” 60 times when reading the verdicts against Glanton and the Upshaw brothers. All three shot Pugh and Ransom to death on June 14, 2021, on a street in the Wilson Apartments; a public housing complex located off of Veterans Parkway near River Road.
The co-defendants at the time, were members of the Marlo criminal street gang. The four teenagers who were shot were members of the Zohannon criminal street gang.
As the trial came to a close, the jury sided with prosecutors and not the defense, who claimed the shooting was self-defense.
An interesting part of this case is the fact the jury was made up of eight men and four women. Eight members of the jury were black and four were white, with almost all the jurors in their mid-30s or older. The jury also included a retired Columbus Police Officer and there was also a husband and wife on the jury.
Glanton along with the Upshaw brothers will be sentenced later this month and all three are facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Homer Upshaw’s attorney William Kendrick shared his experience of trying this case as a gang case.
“I think it was a strategy that worked well for them. I think the danger when you add in gang charges is what we saw here today. That sometimes it ends up kind of being a wave,” Kendrick said.
“And I thought that maybe we lost some of the real issues in this case. But of course, we respect the jury and respect their verdict. Always.”
Jesse Ransom’s mother, Chimere Ransom, who sat through the entire trial, heard how her son’s choice to become a gang member played a pivotal role in the state’s case. She initially talked about gangs in Columbus and how the men who killed her son and trial have affected her life.
“It’s bad. And it really needs to stop because I would not wish that on nobody sitting through a trial almost three weeks. It’s draining, restless,” Ransom.
“I have not gotten hardly any sleep from this. … I don’t know. I don’t know. Like I said, it’s still sad on both ends. They just threw their whole life away.”
After the verdict, Assistant Attorney General McKenzie Gray declined to comment, but Attorney General Chris Carr released the following statement.
“Tragically, four teenagers were gunned down while passing through the Wilson Apartment complex, and two of them were executed as a result of that shooting. For far too long, these three defendants and other members of the Marlo Gang have brought violence upon this community, and today the people of Muscogee County said no more. This verdict is a win for all the families who live in Wilson – they deserve justice, and they deserve to feel safe.”
UPDATE 11/14/23 3:30 p.m.: Glanton and both Upshaw brothers were found guilty on all charges.
WRBL will keep you updated on sentencing.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The jury has reported to the court that it has reached a verdict in the trial of Roderick Glanton and brothers Terrance and Homer Upshaw.
The Upshaw brothers and Glanton are accused in the June 2021 shooting death of 18-year-old Saiveon Pugh and 17-year-old Jessie Ransom.
The shooting happened about 10 p.m. on June 14, 2021 near Wilson Apartments, a Columbus public housing complex off Veterans Parkway near River Road.
Glanton: Seven counts of violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act; two counts of malice murder; two counts of felony murder; four counts of aggravated assault; three counts of criminal damage to property in the first degree; and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Terrance Upshaw: Seven counts of violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act; two counts of malice murder; two counts of felony murder; four counts of aggravated assault; three counts of criminal damage to property in the first degree; and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Homer Upshaw: Seven counts of violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act; two counts of malice murder; two counts of felony murder; four counts of aggravated assault; three counts of criminal damage to property in the first degree; one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; trafficking marijuana.
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