15-year-old boy charged in triple homicide

By Stephanie Pedersen

Gloria Jean Short, 56; granddaughter Gianna Lindsey, 10; and her son Caleb Robert Short Jr., 17; were beaten to death Jan. 4.
Gloria Jean Short, 56; granddaughter Gianna Lindsey, 10; and her son Caleb Robert Short Jr., 17; were beaten to death Jan. 4. Columbus

A third teenager has been charged in the Jan. 4 homicides of Gloria Short, her son and granddaughter.

The unidentified 15-year-old will face three counts of murder, two counts of auto theft and one count each of burglary and using a knife to commit a crime, police said.

Also charged in the brutal beatings of Gloria Short, 54, Caleb Short, 17, and Gianna Lindsey, 10, are Jervarceay Tapley, 17, and Raheam Gibson, 19. They were arrested about a week after the homicides.

Police said they will ask that the 15-year-old's first preliminary hearing set for Saturday in Recorder's Court be postponed until 2 p.m. Monday.

Investigators said he is the "final" subject wanted in the homicides.

Police were called to 3057 Bentley Drive in Upatoi around 8 a.m. that Monday after Robert Short, Gloria Short's husband, found his wife, son and granddaughter dead in his home.

An autopsy showed each of the three victims sustained “extreme blunt-force trauma to the head,” and Gloria and Gianna also had “multiple stab wounds," authorities said.

Tapley knew the Short family because his grandmother lived with Gloria Short's brother, Robert Averett. Averett died of a heart attack Jan. 6 after hearing of his sister’s homicide.

The two suspects in the Jan. 4 triple homicide appeared in court Friday afternoon on multiple charges, including three counts of murder. This is an excerpt from the testimony of Detective Alan Malone of the Columbus Police Department.

During an initial hearing for Tapley and Gibson, police said that while searching the residence Tapley shared with his grandmother and her boyfriend, officers found clothing and jewelry stolen from the Bentley Drive home

Pieces of Caleb Short's clothing were thrown over the northeast corner of a fence outside the 4125 Calhoun Drive residence, police said.

Gibson told police a third teen he did not know went with him and Tapley to the Shorts that night, officers said. Gibson claimed he only waited outside, but admitted taking one of two vehicles stolen from the home.

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.