Posted by Brandon Jarvis
Governor Terry McAuliffe has denied a clemency request for a man convicted of brutally murdering a well-known Richmond family, clearing the way for his scheduled execution on Wednesday.
“After a thorough review of the petition for clemency submitted by Ricky Gray and the various letters submitted by other parties, I have decided not to intervene in this case,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “Mr. Gray was convicted in a fair and impartial trial, and a jury sentenced him to death in accordance with Virginia law. Federal and state appellate courts have extensively reviewed his case and denied his requested relief. Unless a court intervenes, the Department of Corrections will carry out the execution in accordance with the order of the sentencing court.”
McAuliffe added, “It is the Governor’s responsibility to ensure that the laws of the Commonwealth are properly carried out unless circumstances merit a stay or commutation of the sentence. After extensive review and deliberation, I have found no such circumstances. I will continue to pray for all of the individuals and families affected by these tragic and horrible crimes.”
Gray is scheduled to be put to death on January 18 for the 2006 murders of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and 4-year-old sister, Ruby. The girls and their parents, Bryan and Kathryn Harvey, were found in the basement of their burning home, bound, beaten and stabbed, with their throats cut.
Gray also confessed to participating in the killing of Ashley Baskerville, her mother and stepfather less than a week later, but was never tried in that case.
Gray’s attorneys had asked for clemency, saying the man’s sexual abuse as a child and subsequent drug use provides an understanding of his actions that wasn’t presented to jurors.
Steve Tarrant, who lived across the street from the Harveys, said he believes Gray’s execution will bring the community some closure.