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Wise County Special Grand Jury to probe 20-year-old shooting death

Staff Report • Feb 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Ron Elkins hopes a special grand jury will shed some light on a 20-year-old Wise County cold case this month when it probes the circumstances surrounding the reason Gary Russell Short Sr. died from a shotgun blast to the chest on May 20, 1988. According to a report by the Bristol Herald Courier all investigators really know is that Short was lured to a wooded trail in the Gladyfork section of Pound, saw an armed man hiding in the brush, and was killed.Some speculate that Short might have been killed because he saw something he shouldn't have, possibly a heavy equipment theft ring in action. Or, did someone lusting after Short's wife pulled the trigger?The grand jury- scheduled for Feb. 25-26 - marks the first time evidence will be brought to court. Investigators plan to question a number of witnesses, and hope the special grand jury can pry information from long-closed lips.“I’ve found that people are more inclined to tell the truth when they are under oath,” Elkins told the Herald Courier.

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