Crime

Columbus police charge cousin, teenager in Bentley Drive triple homicides

By Stephanie Pedersen

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.com

Looking Back: Mourners bid farewell to three homicide victims

In this Ledger-Enquirer file video, Denicia Sumbry, the niece of Gloria Short, speaks during the Celebration of Life service for Gloria Short, Caleb Short and Gianna Lindsey.
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In this Ledger-Enquirer file video, Denicia Sumbry, the niece of Gloria Short, speaks during the Celebration of Life service for Gloria Short, Caleb Short and Gianna Lindsey.

Columbus police have charged two suspects in the Jan. 4 triple homicide that shocked the city.

Jervarceay Tapley, 17, was arrested in his Calhoun Drive home Tuesday afternoon on three counts of murder, two counts of auto theft, one count burglary and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to jail records. His preliminary hearing is set for 2 p.m. Friday in Recorder's Court.

The name of the second suspect hasn't been released.

 

Today Police Chief Ricky Boren will announce the arrests during a news conference at 11 a.m. at the Public Safety Center at 510 10th St.

Around 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, Robert Short Sr. came home from a 12-hour shift at a local hospital to 3057 Bentley Drive to find his wife, son and granddaughter beaten to death.

The funeral for Gloria Short, 56; Caleb Short, 17; and Gianna Lindsey, 10, was held Monday morning at Cascade Hills Church. About 1,000 people attended the "Celebration of Life," including Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and City Councilor Jerry "Pops" Barnes.

In this Ledger-Enquirer file video, Denicia Sumbry, the niece of Gloria Short, speaks during the Celebration of Life service for Gloria Short, Caleb Short and Gianna Lindsey.

Family members described Gloria as a mom to anyone she met, always hosting family and friends during the holidays.

"You were the unbreakable bond of love that held our family together,” Robert Short wrote his wife.

Caleb, a junior at Shaw High School, was shy and quiet, but loved basketball and Air Jordan tennis shoes, according to Johnny King, his sister's boyfriend.

Girl Scout and dancer Gianna was looking forward to a spelling bee at Ridgecrest Elementary in Phenix City. She was spending the night Jan. 3 with Gloria, her grandmother, who watched Gianna when her mother had to work.

Coroner releases names in triple homicide on Bentley Drive

Police have maintained custody of the crime scene, using their most advanced equipment to gather evidence, said Maj. Gil Slouchick.

Detectives also examined two vehicles stolen from the Bentley Drive home and abandoned in Columbus' Oakland Park neighborhood off South Lumpkin Road -- a silver 2014 Volkswagen Beetle and a green 2004 GMC Envoy. The VW was found in Rigdon Park on Howe Avenue and the Envoy at Broadmoor Drive and Cindy Drive, police said.

Two days later, Gloria Short's brother, Robert Averett, 68, died of a heart attack after hearing the news of his sister's death, according to Muscogee Coroner Buddy Bryan.

Averett had an extensive medical history of cardiac issues, Bryan said.

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