Virginia Executes Man Convicted of Murdering Family of 4 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Virginia Executes Man Convicted of Murdering Family of 4

Posted: Updated:
Ricky Gray Ricky Gray

JARRATT, Va. (AP)- A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year's Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday.
    
Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. following a lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. The 39-year-old inmate was put to death with the sedative midazolam, followed by rocuronium bromide, to halt breathing, and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.
    
Gray showed no emotion as he was walked into the execution chamber wearing blue jeans and handcuffs around his wrists. Asked if he had any final words before the sentence was carried out, Gray responded, "Nope."
    
Gray was condemned to death in 2006 for the murders of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and 4-year-old sister Ruby, and sentenced to life in prison for the slaying of their parents, Bryan and Kathryn Harvey.
    
The family was getting ready to host friends for a chili dinner when Gray and his nephew, Ray Dandridge, were looking for a home to rob when they spotted the open front door. Court records show the men tied up the family in the basement and Gray slashed their throats and bashed their heads with a hammer before setting their home on fire and fleeing with a computer, a wedding ring and a basket of cookies.
    
The well-known family's slaying rocked Virginia's capital city and was followed by the killing of another Richmond family less than a week later. Kathryn Harvey was co-owner of a popular Richmond toy store, the World of Mirth, and Bryan Harvey was a guitarist and singer for a rock duo, House of Freaks.
    
Gray also confessed to participating in the slaying of 21-year-old Ashley Baskerville, her mother Mary Baskerville-Tucker and stepfather Percyell Tucker days after the Harvey deaths, but wasn't tried in that case. Gray and Dandridge said Ashley Baskerville had served as a lookout for them during the Harvey slayings.
    
Dandridge pleaded guilty to the Tucker-Baskerville slayings and is serving a life sentence.
    
Elizabeth Peiffer, an attorney for Gray, said that while his death may provide a measure of retribution to some, it also took "from the world a man trying to make amends and make life better for others."
    
Prison officials closed a blue curtain at 8:54 p.m., shielding Gray from view. That is typically when officials insert the IV and place heart monitors before starting the injection. The curtain remained closed for more than 30 minutes before it was opened and the lethal injection began, which Pfeiffer said was significantly longer than usual and concerning.
    
Lisa Kinney, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Corrections, said that she could not explain why the curtain was closed that long.
    
Gray was the first Virginia inmate to be executed since convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto received a lethal injection in October 2015. Gray's death leaves just six inmates on Virginia's death row. No other execution dates have been set.
    
Virginia obtained the midazolam and potassium chloride from a compounding pharmacy whose identity is secret under a new state law.
    
Wednesday's execution plan marked the first time Virginia sought to use midazolam to put an inmate to death and the first time any state sought to use compounded midazolam, according to Gray's attorneys.
    
Midazolam has come under fire after several problematic executions in other states, with critics arguing that it causes inmates to suffer a painful death because it cannot reliably render them unconscious.
    
The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld the use of midazolam last year and the high court earlier Wednesday rejected Gray's bid to have his execution put on hold so he could challenge state plans to use the compounded version of the drug.
    
Gray's attorneys had asked Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to spare his life, saying his actions were the result of drug use aimed at numbing years of sexual abuse by his older brother when he was a child. Gray says he was high on PCP at the time of the Harvey slayings and doesn't remember much.
    
McAuliffe said he found no reason to intervene, adding he believed Gray received a fair trial.
    

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Worcester County State's Attorney Deems Social Media Threats to Schools Inaccurate

    Worcester County State's Attorney Deems Social Media Threats Inaccurate

    Feb 24, 2018 7:50 PM2018-02-25 00:50:00 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 8:03 PM EST2018-02-25 01:03:05 GMT
    The Office of the State's Attorney for Worcester County said Saturday that information circulating social media that is causing people to question whether or not county schools are safe is false.More
    The Office of the State's Attorney for Worcester County said Saturday that information circulating social media that is causing people to question whether or not county schools are safe is false. More
  • Local Fans React to Cape-Smyrna "Basketbrawl"

    Local Fans React to Cape-Smyrna "Basketbrawl"

    Feb 23, 2018 10:21 PM2018-02-24 03:21:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 10:22 PM EST2018-02-24 03:22:26 GMT
    DOVER, Del.- After a fight broke out at a high school basketball game on Thursday night, local fans were shocked that violence ensued during a playoff match-up. The fight broke out before the conference game between Cape Henlopen and Smyrna finished at MiMore
    After a fight broke out at a high school basketball game on Thursday night, local fans were shocked that violence ensued during a playoff match-up. More
  • No Home Confinement for Former Delaware Prison Guard

    No Home Confinement for Former Delaware Prison Guard

    Feb 23, 2018 5:07 PM2018-02-23 22:07:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:07 PM EST2018-02-23 22:07:14 GMT
    A federal judge says he has no authority to allow home confinement for a former Delaware prison guard sentenced to three years for smuggling drugs and cellphones to inmates.More
    A federal judge says he has no authority to allow home confinement for a former Delaware prison guard sentenced to three years for smuggling drugs and cellphones to inmates.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices