Convicted murderer of 7 people appeals death penalty - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Convicted murderer of 7 people appeals death penalty

Ricky Gray Ricky Gray
Harvey family Harvey family
Percyell Tucker and his wife Mary Percyell Tucker and his wife Mary
Ashley Baskerville Ashley Baskerville

The lawyers defending a convicted murder are putting together a case to keep him off death row. Ricky Gray killed seven people, including the Harvey family, who had two little girls.

For seven years, the convicted murderer has sat on death row for a killing spree that included two children.

Lawyers say they will try to prove that Gray's lawyers were insufficient when it came to defending him during the trial and appeal process.

Even though this is Gray's last attempt, he won't be in the courthouse as his lawyers make their arguments in front of a three-judge panel.

"State and federal law requires that appellate court review the process by which they were sentenced to death, to ensure minimum safeguards that are in place have been satisfied," said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin.

It's a series of murders that grabbed national attention because of the brutality and number of victims. The youngest were sisters Stella and Ruby Harvey.

Ricky Gray, with the help of Ray Dandridge, also killed the girls' parents, Bryan and Kathryn. Then they set the Woodland Heights home on fire.

A week later, Percyell Tucker, his wife Mary and their daughter, Ashley Baskerville - who was an accomplice in the Harveys' murder - were also killed.

Gray was sentenced to death for the girls' murders.

Benjamin says if he loses this appeal, it would take an action by the U.S. supreme court or governor to prevent it - but such action would be rare.

"In this case, there is no claim of innocence. There is no presentation of the mitigating factors, such as mental illness," said Benjamin.

Benjamin predicts if Gray's lawyers can't make their case, the execution could happen by the end of the year.

Gray's case is expected to be heard in the Court of Appeals this Wednesday. Ray Dandridge, the other man convicted for the murders, is serving a life sentence.

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