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Family of Va. couple and two young daughters look forward to watching killer Ricky Gray’s execution

January 17, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Family of Va. couple and two young daughters look forward to watching killer Ricky Gray’s execution

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The killings of a popular couple in Richmond and their young children as they were getting ready to host a New Year’s party sent shock waves through Virginia.

Over 11 years later, some are hopeful that the January 18th execution of Ricky Gray, a man found guilty of their murders, will conclude a painful chapter of the community’s history.

“I don’t think we should be saddled with the cost of keeping that heinous murderer alive,” said Steve Tarrant, who lived near the slaughtered family.

The 39-year-old killer is scheduled to be executed for the slayings of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and Ruby, her 4-year-old sister.

Ricky Gray and Ray Dandridge, his nephew, were on the hunt for a home to burglarize on New Year’s Day in 2006 when they noticed the Harveys’ open door.

Ricky Gray is escorted from the county courthouse in Culpeper, Va. Gray is scheduled to be put to death on Jan. 18, 2017

The children and their parents, Bryan and Kathryn Harvey, who were preparing a chili dinner for a partying they were hosting, were discovered in the basement of their burning home, bound, beaten and stabbed, with their throats slit.

The now 39-year-old also admitted to participating in the murder of 21-year-old Ashley Baskerville, her mother Mary Baskerville-Tucker, and stepfather Percyell Tucker in their home in Richmond less than a week later, but he was not tried in that case.

Gray and Dandridge said Ashley Baskerville worked as a lookout for them during the Harvey murders.

The families’ slayings put the city on edge for weeks. After over a decade, many still find it challenging to discuss the incident.

“I am incapable of describing what happened in that basement without getting choked up,” said Anthony Michael Herring, the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney, who prosecuted the suspects.

After the murders, Gray told authorities: “I just want to die.”

Bryan and Kathryn Harvey (pictured together), were found in the basement of their burning home, bound, beaten and stabbed, with their throats cut on New Year’s Day in 2006

Now he’s pleading with Governor Terry McAuliffe to save his life, saying that the childhood sexual abuse he suffered — and his drug use — presents an understanding of his actions that wasn’t given to jurors.

Gray’s lawyers claim that he was repeatedly raped by his older brother and was abused by his father as a child and used drugs to dull the aftermath of the abuse.

Gray also asserts that he doesn’t remember the Harvey killings because he was high on PCP at the time.

His legal team is also challenging the state’s intentions to use lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy, contending that they will result in a brutal and painful death.

Kathryn Harvey was a co-owner of a popular toy store in Richmond, and Bryan Harvey was a guitarist and singer for a local rock duo.

Tarrant, who lived across the street from the family, referred to them as the “ideal” family.

Ricky Gray was sentenced to the death penalty for the murders of the young girls and life behind bars for the killings of their mother and father.

He was never brought to trial for the Baskerville-Tucker murders, but would have been if prosecutors didn’t reach a proper verdict in the Harvey case, according to Herring.

Gray’s attorneys are also challenging the state’s plans to use lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy, saying they will result in a cruel and painful death (file above)

Dandridge, Gray’s nephew, pleaded guilty to the Baskerville-Tucker murders and is serving life in prison.

The victim’s sister, Daisy Adams, called her the type of person who “would have given the clothes off her back.”

Adams said she expects to watch Gray’s execution and believes it will bring her some closure after 11 grueling years.

Gray’s lawyers recently said that although he should be punished for his actions, he shouldn’t be put to death for the “long-lasting and consequences of the abuse that shaped his life.”

Rob Lee and Jonathan Sheldon, Gray’s attorneys, said that he has been “an exemplary prisoner and has demonstrated that he would continue to live peacefully behind bars if a commutation were granted.”

Multiple mental health professionals and other advocates have also asked McAuliffe for clemency.

In a statement released by his attorneys, Ricky Gray stated that “remorse is not a deep enough word” for what he is feeling.

“I’ve stolen Christmas, birthdays, Easters, Thanksgivings, graduations, and weddings, children. There’s nothing I can do to make up for that. I’m sorry they had to be a victim of my despair,” Gray stated.

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