Grand jury names brother-in-law, former investigator as suspects in 28-year-old Southwest Virginia murder

The family of Gary Short sat with law enforcement in Wise County, VA as more details about the murder case was revealed to the public.
The family of Gary Short sat with law enforcement in Wise County, VA as more details about the murder case was revealed to the public.

WISE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – Officials from the Wise County’s law enforcement named two people in connection the area’s nearly three-decade-old unsolved murder of Gary Short. A grand jury determined the person or persons involved in the murder case of Short are both dead.

The grand jury named two people in their findings, Roger and David Mullins — both of whom are brothers. One of the men was the brother-in-law of Short. The other man worked as an investigator for the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

The family of Gary Short sat with law enforcement in Wise County, VA as more details about the murder case was revealed to the public.
The family of Gary Short sat with Wise County, VA law enforcement as more details about the murder case was revealed to the public.

Chuck Slemp, Wise County’s Commonwealth Attorney said, “For 28 years countless individuals investigated the case without finality….the family of Gary Short has waited 28 years for justice and closure.”

Slemp said at the family’s request, his office filed a motion to unseal the findings of the 2012 Special Grand Jury. A judge granted the motion on Friday, October 14.

On May 20, 1988, Short was killed in a remote part of Wise County in the Glady Fork section of Pound, VA. He was found with a gunshot wound in the chest.

The grand jury determined, “This was a homicide and not a hunting accident.”

Roger Mullins was the brother-in-law of short. A grand jury found that “Roger Mullins was complicit or an accessory to his murder.”

Roger Mullins owned property near the location where Short’s body was found. According to Commonwealth Attorney Slemp, “The Short Family became fearful of Roger Mullins a short time before the murder, because of statements he made to Shorts daughter about something happening to Gary.”

Slemp told the News Channel 11 on Tuesday, Roger Mullins purchased a shotgun– the same type of weapon used in the murder. The gun was allegedly purchased a short time before the murder.

In addition, Slemp said Roger Mullins was seen by a witness May 28, 1988 in the Glady Fork section of Pound where fishing ponds were located and where Short was murdered.

The grand jury, also named Roger Mullin’s brother, David Mullins. David Mullins was an investigator for the then Wise County Sheriff Bill Kelly.

According to Slemp, David Mullins had access to the crime scene and to some of the physical evidence in the case.

A grand jury determined, “David Mullins hampered the investigations from the beginning and the opinion of the jury committed perjury in his testimony to the jury.

According the Slemp, the grand jury issued the findings, but did not issue any indictments.

Short’s daughter, Teresa Caudell, says she glad to see justice for her father. She said her family was not going to give up on this case.

“I was just determined that I was going to do whatever it took, I could be a granny, and I was still going to be working hard to see it come to this point,” she said.

News Channel 11 is following this story. We’ll publish the latest details as soon as they become available.

News Channel 11 has published several stories on this case. We searched our archives and found a video report from May of 2011. That video is posted along with this story.

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