Ricky Gray pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. following execution - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Ricky Gray pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. following execution

Ricky Gray (Source: NBC12) Ricky Gray (Source: NBC12)

Convicted killer Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. Wednesday. When asked if he had any final words, he said, "Nope." 

A crowd of about 20 people gathered feet away from the entrance of the Greensville prison. Among the crowd was Gray's family, who asked for privacy as they held candles and joined members of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and members of the public.

As they were assembling, so was another crowd. About 10 people across the street, some of them holding signs suggesting Gray deserves the death penalty because of the young lives lost.

"I’m here in support of the death penalty. I think it's a just sentence in this case. There's no controversy associated with this execution,” said Chuck Troutman, who traveled from Staunton.

"I'm here as a pastor because I believe in the God of life and the God of forgiveness and the God of Mercy. I believe that the death penalty is wrong and that Jesus was a victim of the death penalty himself,” said the Rev. Lauren Ramseur.

Eleven years ago, Gray and his nephew went on a killing spree.

On New Year's Day 2006, Gray and Ray Dandridge walked into the Harveys' home through the unlocked front door and tied the family up in the basement. Gray stabbed and beat Bryan and Kathryn and their daughters, 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Ruby, to death then set the house on fire.

The pair would murder their accomplice, Ashley Baskerville, days later along with her parents Mary Baskerville-Tucker and Percyell Tucker. They were arrested on Jan. 7, 2006 in Philadelphia.

Gray was found guilty of the Harvey killings, but over the past decade, his attorneys have exhausted several appeals arguing Gray was on PCP at the time of the crime, an addiction caused by sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a family member.

Those who awaited his execution say now that it's over, they're hoping for closure in a case that hit so many so hard.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was asked to step in to prevent the execution. He said that's something he wouldn't do after Gray was convicted and sentenced to death following a "fair and impartial trial."

A last-minute request to the U.S. Supreme Court was also denied Wednesday.

Before Gray died, the Catholic Bishops of Virginia issued the following statement:

"Our Creator -- who made us out of love for love -- has dominion over all life. As children of this loving, merciful God we are led to a profound respect for every human life, from its very beginning until its natural end. Knowing that the state can protect itself in ways other than through the death penalty, we have repeatedly asked that the practice be abandoned. Our broken world cries out for justice, not the additional violence or vengeance the death penalty will exact.

We again express profound sorrow and offer our continued prayers for all victims of violence, whose lives have been brutally cut short, and their loved ones, whose grief continues. We pray for a change of heart and a spirit of remorse and conversion on the part of the perpetrators of this violence and ask God to give all of us the grace.”

This was the second execution in the U.S. this year and the first where the state is using lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy. Gray argued one of the drugs being used will cause him a cruel and painful death.

Officials with the Virginia Department of Corrections said that Wednesday's execution was delayed slightly because workers had trouble finding a vein in Gray's arm to place an IV. 

Just before 9 p.m., a curtain was drawn to block the view of witnesses while the IV line was placed. The curtain reopened at 9:27 p.m. A minute later, the first of three chemicals were placed in the IV; less than 5 minutes later Gray was unconscious. He was then pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m.  

Watch the press conference below that followed Gray's execution: 

Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

Powered by Frankly