RICHMOND, Va. – A judge on Monday sentenced to death the convicted killer of four members of a Richmond family during a bloody crime spree that also left four others dead.
Circuit Judge Beverly Snukals followed the jury's recommendation in imposing the death sentence on Ricky Jovan Gray for the random New Year's Day slayings of musician Bryan Harvey, 49, his wife, Kathryn, 39, and daughters Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4. They were found in the basement of their burning home — bound, beaten with a hammer and stabbed, with their throats cut.
Gray, 29, was convicted of capital murder for the slayings in August. Snukals sentenced him to death for the murders of Stella and Ruby, and gave him life sentences for the slayings of Bryan Harvey and the family as a whole.
Gray and his nephew, Ray Joseph Dandridge, both of Arlington, killed the Harveys as part of a violent rampage that included the slaying of a second Richmond family less than one week later.
Dandridge, also 29, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of capital murder for the Jan. 6 killings of Percyell Tucker, 55, his wife, Mary Baskerville-Tucker, 47, and her daughter, Ashley Baskerville, 21. The men said Ashley Baskerville was an accomplice in the Harvey slayings. They were suffocated.
Prosecutors said Gray had confessed to being an accomplice in the Jan. 6 killings, but decided to charge him only in the slayings of the Harvey family.
Gray also confessed to the Nov. 5 killing of his 35-year-old wife, Treva Terrell Gray, in Washington, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh. In his confession, Gray said he beat his wife to death in their bed with a pipe while Dandridge held her down.
Gray and Dandridge told police they were looking for a house to rob on New Year's Day when they noticed the Harveys' front door was open. After the murders, they fled with a computer, Bryan Harvey's wedding ring and a basket of cookies.
"Now that I think about it, it was a real nasty scene," Gray said of the Harvey murders in his statement to police. "I don't believe sorry is strong enough. None of this was necessary."
The men are considered persons of interest in the Dec. 18 slaying of Sheryl Warner of Culpeper. Warner, 37, was shot and hanged with an electrical cord in her basement, where a fire had been set.
Bryan Harvey was a guitarist and singer for the rock duo House of Freaks, which released five albums between 1987 and 1995. Kathryn Harvey co-owned a quirky toy and novelty store called World of Mirth and was the half-sister of actor Steven Culp, who played Rex Van De Kamp on the ABC television show "Desperate Housewives."