Ten years ago, Ricky Gray slaughtered a family of four – including two innocent little girls – and on Jan. 18, he paid for his crimes with his life. Though his lawyers tried to delay his execution, their efforts failed and this murderer was put to death.
Ricky Gray, 39, was executed via lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarrat, Virginia, on Jan. 18, according to CNN. When asked if he had any last words, he said, “Nope.” He was pronounced dead at 9:42 P.M.
The Northern Virginia native was sentenced to death for his role in a 2006 killing spree where he and his nephew, Ray Dandridge, slaughtered seven people in six days. Among his victims were Kathryn, 39, and Bryan Harvey, 49, as well as their daughters – 4-year-old Ruby and 9-year-old Stella. The bodies of the Harveys were found in their Richmond, Virginia home, repeatedly stabbed, bound and brutally beaten.
Five days following the Harvey murders, Ricky was involved – but not convicted – in the killing of another family: Percyell, 55, and Mary Tucker, 47, and Mary’s daughter, Ashley Baskerville, 21. After he was arrested, Ricky would confess to killing his wife in 2005, admitting he and Ray bludgeoned her to death with a lead pipe.
“I’m sorry they had to be a victim of my despair,” Ricky said in an audio recording posted to a website that argued for his clemency. “Remorse is not a deep enough word for how I feel. I know my words can’t bring anything back, but I continuously feel horrible for the circumstances that I put them through. I robbed them from a lifelong supply of joy.”
Ray was sentenced to life in prison while Ricky was given the death penalty, specifically for the murders of Stella and Ruby. A day before his scheduled execution, his lawyers tried to delay his death by arguing that the use of compounded lethal drugs was a violation of his constitutional rights, according to The Huffington Post. His lawyers went to the courts because Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, 59, said he would not intervene with a last-minute pardon.
Ricky’s legal defense said the three-drug combination would cause unnecessary suffering and that the Constitution guarantees against protection agains “cruel and unusual punishment.” The drugs involved were midazolam (an anesthetic), rocuronium bromide (which causes paralysis) and potassium chloride (which stops the heart).
Ricky’s attorneys said that midazolam failed to render prisoners unconscious during executions in four different states, but the Supreme Court ultimately denied the delay request. Ricky was then put to death. There were reportedly no complications with the injection, Virginia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney told reporters after the deed was done.
What do you think about the death penalty, HollywoodLifers? Was this the right action for the State of Virginia to take?