Thursday, January 19, 2017

Virginia executes killer of sisters 4 and 6 years old

The 2nd Execution of 2017
Ricky Javon Gray was executed in Virginia by lethal injection on January 18, 2017 for the slaying of two young Richmond sisters on New Year’s Day 2006, reported the Roanoke Times.
Gray, 39, was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. at the Greensville Correctional Center. Asked if he had any final words, Gray said, “Nope,” according to a prison spokeswoman.
Gray was sentenced to die for the Jan. 1, 2006, slayings of Ruby Harvey, 4, and Stella Harvey, 9. He and accomplice Ray Dandridge, 39, also killed their parents, Bryan Harvey, 49, and Kathryn Harvey, 39, in their Woodland Heights home.
A few days later, Gray and Dandridge killed Ashley Baskerville, 21; Baskerville’s mother, Mary Tucker, 47; and stepfather, Percyell Tucker, 55, in their South Richmond home. Dandridge, Gray’s nephew, was sentenced to life for those killings.
The Harveys were tied up and beaten with a hammer, and their throats were cut. Their house was set on fire by the killers when they fled and the victims were initially discovered by firefighters. Ultimately, Gray was sentenced to death, leading to years of appeals.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe turned down a clemency request to commute Gray’s death sentence to life without possibility of parole. Gray’s lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay, which the justices denied on hours before the execution.
The late court challenge stemmed from Virginia’s three-drug execution procedure.
For Gray’s execution the state planned to use midazolam and potassium chloride made by a licensed compounding pharmacy in Virginia as the first and third drugs. The compounded chemicals are tested monthly to verify identity and potency, said state officials.
Compounded midazolam had never been used in an execution in Virginia, Gray’s lawyers complained. 
Their bid for a stay of execution was rejected by a federal judge and a federal appeals court only days before the execution. 
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