Man Accused of Shooting Son to Stay Behind Bars Until Next Week

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Albemarle County's former commonwealth's attorney and her 84-year-old client accused of murder had a big win in Albemarle County Circuit Court Wednesday.

Donald Short, who spent more than 50 years serving in law enforcement, will be able to leave jail after his supporters put up a property to free him on Monday, November 21.

The circuit court judge ruled Donald Short can post a $250,000 bond starting Monday at 2 p.m. That gives his family time to prepare for a number of restrictions on his home confinement.

This comes after lawyers for Donald Short appealed an earlier decision that denied him bond.

The former University of Virginia police officer is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Albemarle County police say he shot his son, 47-year-old Matthew Short, Wednesday, November 9, in the 2400 block of Commonwealth Drive.

New details emerged in court over what led up to last week’s fatal shooting.

Matthew's brother, Eddie, told the judge the fight started when Matthew punched him in his face. Eddie then said he had Matthew in a headlock and, "Was attempting to take him to the ground" when their father came down the stairs, shot Matthew in the side, told Eddie to move, and shot Matthew again in the leg.

Matthew later died at a hospital Friday, November 11.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Darby Lowe argued she was not comfortable rolling the dice on bond, adding there needs to be no additional harm or death in the community.

Short's attorney, former county prosecutor Denise Lunsford, put on a host of witnesses, describing a rising level of tension between Matthew and Eddie with Donald Short caught in between and fearful for his family's safety.

Lunsford had no comment on her win over the county.

Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Tracci says it’s his office's policy to not comment on pending cases. 

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