December 7, 2016 11:03 AM
Family of 83-year-old homicide victim: ‘We want the death penalty’By Sarah Robinson
Minutes after Angelo Short pleaded guilty to murder early Wednesday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court in the stabbing death of 83-year-old Peggy Gamble, her family announced that they would prefer that the District Attorney’s Office seek the death penalty if Short were convicted.
"We hope that plea is attached to incarceration without the eligibility of parole. That’s the only thing we’re going to accept,” said Richard Gamble, one of the victim’s three children. “As the family, we want the death penalty. Like all things, if he’s willing to confess that he did wrong, then we, as the family, will go along with that.”
The Ledger-Enquirer made an attempt Wednesday morning to reach District Attorney Julia Slater Wednesday morning for comment on the Short case but was unsuccessful.
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole’s website states that an offender can be sentenced to life without parole for murder if the crime involved aggravating circumstances sufficient to warrant a sentence of death. If the offender is sentenced to life imprisonment and has previously been imprisoned under a life sentence, they must serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole consideration.
Short’s court appearance comes days after he pleaded not guilty Dec. 1 to taking Gamble’s beige 1988 Toyota Corolla from her home following her death and obstructing police during his arrest.
During that hearing, he also pleaded not guilty robbery and aggravated assault charges related to a Piggly Wiggly robbery he allegedly committed the morning after a relative found Gamble’s body in her 2324 Eighth St. home.
Gamble was pronounced dead at 1:34 p.m. Nov. 28, but Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said it appears as if she was dead for eight to 10 hours before her body was discovered.
She was stabbed seven times, according to a preliminary autopsy report.
Authorities said they found evidence on the homicide scene that someone had broken into the victim’s home, where she had been living alone since 1993. Gamble’s Toyota, which her family said was normally parked under her carport, was missing from the residence, Detective Stewart Carter said during Thursday’s hearing.
Police listed Short as a person of interest in the case early on, adding that he was Gamble’s step-grandson. The victim’s family disputed that relationship with Short during the hearing, but a family member previously said Short is the stepson of Gamble’s older daughter, Miriam Short, who is married to Short’s father, Eddie.
Carter said witnesses spotted Short driving Gamble’s Toyota with an unidentified individual in the passenger seat the night Gamble was killed. Short was also seen in the car alone when he allegedly left the missing Toyota in the area of 10th Street the night of Nov. 28, three additional witnesses told authorities.
Police said Short robbed the Piggly Wiggly on Brown Avenue early Tuesday and they received numerous tips later that day informing them that he was sleeping in abandoned houses in the area of Coolidge Avenue.
Carter said officials couldn’t find Short at the exact location they were given, but they set up a perimeter and arrested him after he was found in an abandoned apartment on Lawyers Lane.
Short told police to kill him before using a crack pipe to smoke cocaine in front of them, then he continued to tell authorities to kill him, according to Carter.
Carter also said Short had to be subdued with a stun gun before he could be taken into custody.