The jury in the Upatoi triple murder trial has found Rufus Leonard Burks IV guilty of felony murder, kidnapping, burglary and auto theft. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other counts so a mistrial was declared on those. Burks was the youngest of three defendants, and the only one to go to trial.
It's been 10 years since John Greenman first reported about Agent Orange's impact on Vietnamese citizens. Greenman recently returned to see what, if anything , has changed. Greenman says what struck him then, and still resonates today, is that Agent Orange is the cruelest remnant of the Vietnam War. This is a video excerpt from his full report. You can read it in the Sunday print edition of the Ledger-Enquirer or online at www.ledger-enquirer.com.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson answered Friday afternoon several questions during the State of the City event at Columbus State University's Cunningham Conference Center. This is an excerpt from her comments about the issue of crime in Columbus.
The management and catering services at RiverMill Event Center in Bibb City recently changed hands. Columbus-based Valley Hospitality Services through It’s Your Day Catering has assumed management and food service responsibilities. Since taking over Feb. 1, they've been busy getting the facility ready. We dropped by earlier this week as workers were busy finishing renovations and preparing for weekend events.
After 13 hours of deliberations in the triple murder trial of Rufus Leonard Burks, jurors Thursday had reached unanimous agreement on only three of the 10 counts against the 17-year-old, the judge announced before the jury was dismissed at 4:45 p.m.Those counts are burglary, kidnapping and auto theft. Burks also faces these charges: three counts of malice or intentional murder; three counts of felony murder for allegedly killing the three victims while committing the felony of aggravated assault; and a second count of auto theft.
A Columbus private school has decided to start drug-testing its oldest students. Brookstone School announced Wednesday that the drug-testing of students in grades 8-12 will be voluntary next school year then mandatory in succeeding years. This is an excerpt from Mark Rice's interview with Jason Branch, president of the Brookstone School board of trustees, and Marty Lester, the head of school for Brookstone.
Closing arguments began Tuesday morning in the trial of Rufus Leonard Burks IV. Burkes is one of three men police charged in the slayings of Gloria Short,54; her son Caleb Short, 17; and grandaughter Gianna Lindsey, 10, in January 2016 in Columbus' Upatoi neighborhood. This is an excerpt of the closing argument from Jennifer Curry, the defense attorney representing Burks.
East Columbus Magnet Academy principal Tamura Magwood explains why the Columbus middle school wants the Muscogee County School Board to name its football field after John "Pepper" Spurlock Jr., who was the assistant principal when he died in October at 42.
Dr. Natasha Grandhi, associate medical examiner with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified Monday morning that Gianna Lindsey,the 10-year-old girl slain with her uncle and grandmother in Columbus’ Upatoi area in 2016, had 23 stab wounds in addition to massive head trauma. Grandhi testified Monday in the triple-murder trial of Rufus Leonard Burks IV. This video includes excerpts from Grandhi's testimony.
Columbus public safety officials are checking multiple downtown buildings after an early morning bomb threat, Sheriff Donna Tompkins confirmed.
The buildings affected were the Columbus Consolidated Government Center, Recorder's Court next to the Muscogee County Jail, and downtown federal courthouse. Tompkins said by 8:15 a.m., the recorders court building had been cleared for occupancy. At the government center, employees but not visitors were being allowed in. Attorneys reporting for court were being temporarily turned away.
Parts of Columbus are about to get a lot more colorful thanks to a major public art project that will be rolled out Friday morning. Four massive murals done by five local artists, were unveiled during a news conference Friday morning. The works, completed over the last three weeks, have been kept under wraps. The art project is called “My River Valley,” feeding off a poem of the same title written by Northside High School theater instructor Isiah M. Harper. Five local artists — Garry Pound, Butch Anthony, R.C. Hagans, Sally Bradley, and Najee Dorsey — were commissioned to produce public art inspired by the poetry.
Parts of Columbus are about to get a lot more colorful thanks to a major public art project that will be rolled out Friday morning. Four massive murals done by five local artists, including one co-created by R.C. Hagans and Butch Anthony, will be showcased during a news conference Friday morning. The works, completed over the last three weeks, have been kept under wraps. The art project is called “My River Valley,” feeding off a poem of the same title written by Northside High School theater instructor Isiah M. Harper. Five local artists — Garry Pound, Butch Anthony, R.C. Hagans, Sally Bradley, and Najee Dorsey — were commissioned to produce public art inspired by the poetry. Here's a quick introduction to Anthony and Hagans.
The Springer Opera House announced Wednesday morning at has launched a film division aimed at " cultivating an indigenous movie industry in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley." The Springer's Paul Pierce announced the Springer Film Institute will train people in all phases of movie-making, including screenwriting, film editing, cinematography, and acting for the camera. You can check out the institute's full course offerings at springerfilm.org.
In her opening statement Monday, defense attorney Jennifer Curry warned jurors they would see gruesome crime-scene photos. “They’re some of the worst images I’ve ever seen,” she said, later adding, “You can’t look at those pictures without your heart breaking.” She asked jurors to keep an “open mind” toward her client, Rufus Leonard Burks IV, who was only 15 at the time Gloria Short, Caleb Short, and Gianna Lindsey were killed. Curry said Burks was not inside the house when the family was killed and the jury would not have to figure out who did the killing. “We know Jervarceay Tapley killed this family,” she said.