Suspect in Waynesboro slayings to stay in jail

Tony Grubbs has a long criminal history, including a robbery conviction.

WAYNESBORO, Ga. --- The man accused of stabbing an elderly couple to death must remain in jail pending possible indictment and trial, a judge ruled Friday.

 

Tony O. Grubbs, 41, has been connected to the slayings of Ralph and Trudy Gordon by early DNA tests, District Attorney Ashley Wright said during Grubbs' bond hearing in Burke County Superior Court.

Sometime between June 18 and 20, Ralph and Trudy Gordon, ages 82 and 83 respectively, were killed in their Ninth Street home, Wright said. Ralph Gordon was stabbed 15 times, and Trudy Gordon was stabbed 30 times.

The Gordons' home, which the elderly couple kept very neat, was ransacked and items were stolen, including a number of rings that Trudy Gordon wore on a daily basis, Wright said.

Investigators believe they have evidence proving Grubbs pawned the rings before anyone knew the elderly couple was dead, Wright said.

Grubbs turned himself in on June 22, two days after a family member found the Gordons dead.

Wright, who opposed Grubbs' release, told Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. of Grubbs' extensive criminal history -- 1985 burglary, 1988 burglary, 1989 burglary and two other theft-related charges, 1993 theft and weapon violation, 1997 theft, 2004 battery, stalking and trespass, and a 2006 robbery conviction.

Grubbs pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court in 2006 to the robbery charges. Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced him to four years in prison followed by 11 years on probation. According to a report in The Augusta Chronicle, Grubbs was arrested for trying to snatch cash from a woman's hand at a Deans Bridge Road gas station on Dec. 29, 2005.

Grubbs, who was released from prison in January, was still on probation at the time of the Gordons' slayings.

Members of the Gordons' family, some traveling from as far away as Washington state to attend Friday's hearing, petitioned the judge to deny bond.

Brenda Gordon Richler said that after what happened to her parents no one in Burke County would be safe if Grubbs was released.

Assistant Public Defender Debra Neumann asked the judge to consider Grubbs' obtainment of a GED and the ability to live with his sister if released.

Fleming denied bond, finding that Grubbs' release could pose a threat to the community.