Local News

Hillsborough Man Faces Death Penalty For Poker Game Murders

Posted July 31, 2002 4:02 a.m. EDT

— A Hillsborough man charged with killing two men during a poker game in March will face the death penalty.

An Orange County judge announced the ruling Wednesday morning. Robert "Peanut" Gattis Jr., 38, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of James Edward Long, 59, of Hillsborough and Nicholas Whitted, 26, of Hillsborough.

Gattis is also charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury in the shooting of Terrence Brooks.

Authorities said Gattis and another man entered a garage behind Folks Inc., just off Highway 86 in Hillsborough, and attempted to rob the eight men who were playing cards.

Deputies said Gattis has been in trouble with the law since he was a young boy. Records show just before the poker shooting, he served time for armed robbery.