Ricky Jovan Gray

  • DOC Number: 1100057. ((“Offender Locator.” Virginia Department of Corrections 11 Oct. 2010. <http://www.vadoc.state.va.us/offenders/locator/index.cfm>.))
  • Inmate Number: 364382. ((“Offender Locator.” Virginia Department of Corrections 11 Oct. 2010. <http://www.vadoc.state.va.us/offenders/locator/index.cfm>.))
  • Venue: City of Richmond. ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 645 S.E.2d 448 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
  • Victims:
    • Bryan Harvey. ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Kathryn Harvey. ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Stella Harvey. ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Ruby Harvey. ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
  • Crimes:
    • Capital murder of Bryan Harvey (murder in the commission of robbery or attempted robbery). ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Capital murder of Bryan Harvey, Kathryn Harvey, Stella Harvey, and Ruby Harvey (murder of more than one person as part of the same act or transaction). ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Capital murder of Bryan Harvey, Kathryn Harvey, Stella Harvey, and Ruby Harvey (murder of more than one person within a three-year period). ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Capital murder of Ruby Harvey (murder of a four year old while 21 years of age or older). ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
    • Capital murder of Stella Harvey (murder of a nine year old while 21 years of age or older). ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 291, 645 S.E.2d 448, 451 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
  • Current Location: Sussex I State Prison. ((“Offender Locator.” Virginia Department of Corrections 11 Oct. 2010. <http://www.vadoc.state.va.us/offenders/locator/index.cfm>.))
  • Status: Petition for writ of certiorari challenging the Supreme Court of Virginia’s affirmation of death sentence denied. ((Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))
  • As of: January 14, 2008. ((Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))

Summary of crime:

From Gray v. Commonwealth [emphasis mine throughout]:

On the morning of January 1, 2006, Kathryn and Bryan Harvey and their two daughters, Stella and Ruby, were killed in the Harveys’ home in the City of Richmond. Firefighters, responding to a call that the Harveys’ home was burning, discovered the bodies of Kathryn and Ruby in the basement as they attempted to fight the fire. The house was filled with “black smoke” and the basement was burning and had “[z]ero visibility and a lot of heat.” Soon after the firefighters removed the bodies of Kathryn and Ruby from the basement, they determined that the bodies showed evidence of “battle signs” and that the victims’ legs had been bound. At that point the firefighters stopped their rescue efforts and summoned the police.

Detective Dwyer of the Richmond Police Department then discovered Stella in the basement under a futon “with her hands behind her back, tape around her mouth.” Bryan was discovered on the floor of the basement with orange electrical cord wrapped around his wrists and feet, with “melted tape around his face [and a] large wound to his neck area.” Detective Dwyer also found two claw hammers, two broken wine bottles, a knife handle and a separate knife blade in the basement. Those items, as well as several photographs of the scene, were admitted into evidence at trial.

An autopsy revealed that Bryan had been cut eight times in his neck and underneath his chin, and those wounds, although “[v]ery painful,” were not immediately fatal. His mouth had been gagged and taped. Six lacerations were made to the left side and back of Bryan’s skull, each caused by blows from a hammer. He experienced severe third degree burns to his skin. Bryan died from the wounds to his skull.

Kathryn had been cut three times in her neck and chest, once in her back, and those wounds caused bleeding and pain but were not fatal. Multiple lacerations were made to Kathryn’s skull as a result of blows from a hammer. The hammer blows caused a fracture to the plate above Kathryn’s eyes, resulting in bleeding behind her eyes. Kathryn died from the blunt force injuries to her head.

Ruby’s throat had been sliced through to her trachea, a wound that was not fatal but obstructed her breathing. Her head was also fractured and cut, causing brain tissue to exude from her skull. She had also been stabbed in the back with enough force that the knife had passed through her ribs and into her lungs. Ruby died from the blunt force injuries to her head and the stab injury to her lungs.

Stella’s neck had been cut six times, with the stab wounds having penetrated her trachea and esophagus. Stella’s head was also bludgeoned by a hammer, causing brain tissue to exude from her skull. She died from a combination of smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning and blunt force injury to her head.

Forensic evidence showed that the knife blade recovered from the Harveys’ home had traces of blood from Kathryn, Stella, Ruby and Bryan. Bryan and Stella’s DNA was discovered on the shaft of one of the recovered hammers. Kathryn’s DNA was identified on the handle of the other hammer.

Evidence at trial established that Gray, Ray Dandridge and Ashley Baskerville were driving the streets of Richmond in Gray’s van during the mid-morning of January 1, 2006 “looking for a house to rob.” Gray and Dandridge “spotted a door open” at the Harveys’ home, entered the house, and forced Kathryn, Bryan and Ruby into the basement.4 Stella was not home when Gray and Dandridge entered. In the basement, Gray assured the three family members that he and Dandridge would leave after they took what they wanted from the home. Gray then used electrical cords to tie Bryan’s wrists behind his back and bind his ankles together.

4 Gray claimed that Baskerville was asleep in the vehicle and did not participate in the crimes at the Harveys’ home.

Before Gray and Dandridge could plunder the house, they heard a noise upstairs on the home’s main level. Kiersten Perkinson, a family friend, had arrived at the Harveys’ home to deliver the Harveys’ daughter, Stella, along with Perkinson’s own daughter, Grace Lynn, from a slumber party the previous evening.

Hearing the commotion, Kathryn explained to Gray that her daughter had returned from a slumber party, so Gray permitted Kathryn to go upstairs to bring her daughter downstairs to the basement. Perkinson heard Kathryn “running up the stairs” from the basement, and upon reaching the top of the basement stairs, she appeared “pale and ashen.” Stella ran past her mother and down the stairs into the basement, but Kathryn blocked Grace Lynn’s path so she could not follow Stella downstairs. Kathryn told Perkinson that she did not feel well, so Perkinson and Grace Lynn left the house.

Downstairs, Gray bound the hands and feet of all the Harveys and placed clear packing tape over their mouths, but he assured them that everything would be okay. Gray and Dandridge then began collecting the items from the home they intended to steal. Kathryn attempted to comfort her distraught daughters, and she told Gray that he should take what he wanted and just leave. Suddenly, Gray took a razor knife and cut Kathryn’s throat and then cut the throats of the young girls and Bryan.5 When Gray saw that his victims were still moving, he took a nearby claw hammer and began repeatedly beating each of the Harveys in the head. When they stopped moving, Gray poured two bottles of wine on an easel in the basement and lit a match, starting the fire. Gray and Dandridge then left the burning home with the items they had stolen.

5 In his confession to police, Gray indicated that Dandridge “did the old man, cut him. But I’m not sure. But it doesn’t matter if he did or not cause he was still alive after, [un]til I hit him with [t]he hammer.”

John Hott, a family friend of the Harveys, arrived at the Harveys’ home for a New Year’s Day party at about 1:45 p.m. and noticed smoke coming from the house. He immediately ran to a neighbor’s home and called “911”.

Less than a week later, Richmond police received a tip that Gray was a suspect in the murders, and a member of the Richmond Police Department contacted the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Police Department requesting they investigate a location where Gray may be staying and to be on the lookout for a particular vehicle believed related to the Harvey murders. In the early morning hours of January 7, 2006, Philadelphia police obtained a search warrant, and a SWAT team entered the location where Gray was suspected to be staying and found him in the basement. Gray was arrested and advised of his Miranda rights. After learning that Dandridge was also being questioned, he asked the Philadelphia police: “Can I tell you my side of the story?”

As part of a signed confession, Gray described in detail how he and Dandridge entered the Harveys’ home and attacked the Harveys, in which he stated:

[I]t was a real nasty scene. How am I suppose[d] to explain something like what happened? I started cutting their throats and they kept getting up and they [were] scaring me. I remember seeing the hammer and picking it up, and then . . . I was just hitting them all with the hammer. All I know is nobody was moving when I left out there.

Gray admitted that Dandridge spent most of this time searching the home for items to steal, and that only Gray used the hammers to attack the Harveys.

Gray stipulated at trial that Bryan’s wedding ring, as well as a cookie plate and a basket from the Harveys’ home, were discovered in a location Gray provided to police, who also recovered from Gray a computer stolen from the Harveys’ home. Gray also stipulated that the boots found at the residence in Philadelphia belonged to him. Bryan and Stella’s blood stains were discovered on Gray’s boots. The Commonwealth also introduced photographs of the dead bodies as exhibits during the trial, and the jury was permitted to view these exhibits. At the time of the murders, Gray was twenty-eight years old. Ruby was four years old at the time of her death, and Stella was nine years old at the time of her death.

The jurors returned a verdict of guilty as to all five capital murder counts as charged in the indictments.

[…]

In the sentencing phase, the Commonwealth introduced evidence of Gray’s criminal record, including convictions for robbery in 1996, distribution of crack cocaine in 2000, and possession of cocaine in 2002. Extensive evidence was also presented to show a history of violent acts perpetrated by Gray.

Lieutenant Daniel Stanek of the City of Washington, Pennsylvania Police Department testified about the discovery of the dead body of Gray’s wife, Treva, on November 5, 2005. Gray was questioned at the time but was not arrested for her murder. After his arrest for the murders of the Harveys in January 2006, Gray also confessed to killing his wife with the help of Dandridge by bludgeoning her to death with a lead pipe.

Detective William Brerton of the Richmond Police Department described how, also on January 1, 2006, he learned of another set of murders committed in Richmond. Executing a search warrant, police discovered the dead bodies of Percyell Tucker, his wife, Mary, and Mary’s daughter, Ashley Baskerville6, all in their home. Dr. Darin Trelka, a medical examiner, testified that the autopsy revealed Percyell’s head had been “covered with Saran Wrap,” with a sock stuffed into his mouth and duct-taped shut. Percyell probably struggled for several minutes before he died from suffocation. Mary’s mouth had been gagged, with duct tape over her eyes. Her neck and chest had been cut four times. Mary struggled several minutes before she died from suffocation. Ashley was found with a plastic shopping bag over her head and taped to her neck with duct tape. Her face was wrapped in duct tape and a sock stuffed into her mouth. Ashley also struggled for several minutes before she died from suffocation.

6 Ashley Baskerville was the third person with Gray and Dandridge on January 1 when the Harveys were murdered. During Gray’s confession to the murder of the Tuckers, Gray explained how Ashley was working with Gray and Dandridge and provided them a key to enter the Tucker residence. “She was taped up as part of the plan.”

Gray’s vehicle was discovered three blocks from the Tucker’s home, and the Tucker’s stolen vehicle was located in Philadelphia where Gray was arrested. Gray confessed to murdering the Tucker family.

Police also learned that Gray assaulted a man in Arlington, Virginia on New Year’s Eve, 2005. At the sentencing phase of Gray’s trial, Ryan Carey testified that as he arrived at his parent’s home after work on December 31, he was attacked by two men. He was forced to the ground and stabbed multiple times. Carey escaped the assault and rushed to his father’s home covered in blood. Carey’s father contacted emergency personnel, who took Carey to a hospital where his condition was stabilized. After two months of hospitalization, Carey was able to return home, although he lost the use of his right arm. Gray confessed to assaulting Carey with Dandridge’s assistance and stipulated that Carey’s blood was found on Gray’s boots.

Also testifying at the penalty phase of the trial were Mark Harvey, Bryan’s older brother, and Steven Culp, Kathryn’s older brother. Each described a loving relationship with their sibling and the devastating grief and emotional impact of the murders upon the extended families. ((Gray v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 290, 295-302, 645 S.E.2d 448, 452-456 (2007), cert. denied, Gray v. Virginia, 552 U.S. 1151, 128 S. Ct. 1111, 169 L. Ed. 2d 826 (2008).))

114 Comments

  1. Angel says:

    These two are not human being,they are animals and they should be thrown to a jumgle of lions.such a gruesome ssene i watch it everytime on discovery channel and for what they did to the Harvey family i hope they meet face to face with God very soon.

    • Brooklyn Dance says:

      I will never understand the chronic, habitual and unoriginal usage of the term “they’re animals”. Why, why, why must animals be insulted?

      • Marna Squires says:

        Exactly animals are beautiful, I have no words to describe these 2 monsters. All the pain they caused hurts my heart so badly

  2. Angel says:

    These two are not human beings,they are animals and they should be thrown to a jumgle of lions.such a gruesome ssene i watch it everytime on discovery channel and for what they did to the Harvey family i hope they meet face to face with God very soon.

  3. Angel says:

    These two are not human beings,they are animals and they should be thrown to a jumgle of lions.such a gruesome scene i watch it everytime on discovery channel and for what they did to the Harvey family i hope they meet face to face with God very soon.

  4. *deleted* says:

    *deleted*

    • James says:

      What a terrible thing to say. In some ways, violence is parallel with hateful words- especially idiotic empty and callus words such as what you speak, and you are clearly a dumb highschool drop out.

    • James says:

      What a terrible thing to say. In some ways, violence is parallel with hateful words- especially idiotic empty and callus words such as what you speak, and you are clearly a dumb highschool drop out.

    • James says:

      I would be outraged with what you said, BUBBA, but your name explains EVERYTHING!

  5. Jim says:

    Any murderer is a miscreant and must be held accountable for their actions. Please ignore the racist, ignorant rant of this moron “Bubba”, but do not fail to severely, and completely condemn the monsters who acted on their nhuman passions and put deed to ill passions.

  6. Jalisa Morgan says:

    I hope they rot in hell! This was a sadistic murder. How terrible. Yet we live in the last days and the bible says this would happen!

  7. Jalisa Morgan says:

    I hope they rot in hell! This was a sadistic murder. How terrible. Yet we live in the last days and the bible says this would happen!

  8. *deleted* says:

    *deleted*

  9. *deleted* says:

    *deleted*

  10. Jesus Christ says:

    I have forgiven both Ricky and Ray for their sins. And I am waiting with open arms to do the same for you. JC

    • srwd123 says:

      Iknow if these two guys gray and Dandridge ask God to come into their hearts and ask Jesus to wash them in his blood he would because thas why Jesus came to the earth to save us plenty of people committed murders and stole lied and did some despicable thing but Jesus still forgave them yea im soo hurt by this have been every since this has happened can’t understand why this happened i am still on here to see whats going to happen to these two guys i hope and pray they find God i don’t wish HELL on anyone cuz thas forever once you go there sooo please pray God will have mercy on them please God wath over the survivors of the harvey family

  11. kimilaa says:

    Wow these two pieces of dog shit should burn in hell that is what I hope how can you murder these people and those poor children just I’m lost for word’s smh

  12. Howie says:

    These guys are disturbing beyond belief. How could they do that to adults never mind kids. Wish I could be allowed just a minute in the cell they occupy. Id knock the smile of their face big time.

  13. elaina bennett says:

    Trevally Terrell is my cousin. We grew up together as sisters. It is close to the anniversary of her death, and I am still in extreme pain. I am still devastated that my cousin was murdered, and I miss her more than anyone will ever know. Love you Treva 5/19/1971-11/5/2005

  14. A friend says:

    These acts are some of the most gruesome I have ever heard. It is unfortunate that they happened but there is nothing that can be done done now to bring the victims back. The only way to change this world so that it won’t happen again is to show love to everyone you meet. Maybe if someone loved to assailants they would have never have done this. I also ask, as hard as I know it might be, to forgive these men for their crimes. Terrible as they are, hate doesn’t correct hate. Hopefully we can change the world so nothing like this ever happens again.

  15. Just Me says:

    I’m not sure what difference the color of this man’s skin is – or his victims’ – Any mention/discussion of race/racism is ridiculous & is EXACTLY what’s wrong in this country now. This was a human being (using the classification very loosely) who slaughtered children – not for food or even self defense. Animals kill for one or the other, so he can’t be classified as “animal”. I’m not sure what you would call this, but whether or not he was black, white, yellow or red is just absolutely not relevant.

  16. Wildthing3 says:

    Sorry to tell you but killers come in all colors. Almost ALL of the mass shooters are white. So is that something we need to talk about? These monsters were so far beyond race. They’re sociopaths. And they too, come in all colors.

  17. Matthew says:

    I live in Richmond, VA and will never forget this horrible tragedy. The entire city was literally shell shocked after learning of this beautiful family being butchered for absolutely no reason. It is a testament to how wonderful the Harvey family was that such a universal response of grief transpired. This is a story I shall never forget. I know every time I lock my door, I think of this family.

    • Matthew says:

      This Matthew as well thinks of them almost everytime I check the door. A long time good friend of mine and his family of four live a few blocks from the Harvey house and celebrating at home that day as well.
      That these two were still alive more than 12 months after the crime is an abomination. The murder of children is simply out of bounds. It’s indefensible. Stop wasting time and money.

  18. Dee says:

    March 16th! Apparently they are short on one of the drugs needed to carry out his execution, so, let me suggest other options-

    #1- Electric chair
    #2- Bullet and a gun
    #3- Rope

    Don’t say it can’t be carried out because they’re missing one of the drugs needed for execution… I just gave you three options readily available.

    Now, I hope they fry those idiots who killed that little girl on Old Brook Road!

  19. Toy says:

    I live right down the street. I drive by 4home all the time. I’m deeply sadden by this. It could of been my house that was unlocked.

  20. Sawyer says:

    The idiot liberals in Richmond would go through this again and again rather than be politically incorrect. The first thing said at the memorial was more about the killers than the victims.

  21. Jill Harden says:

    First my Thoughts and Prayers go out to the surviving Family members of the Harvey family Words cannot express my Grief in reading this.
    I live in Arlington Virginia and when I came across this Horrible Killing that happened in 2006 I was taken back . I just now hearing about this in 2010 . And than finding out who the Killers are I was again shocked because I remember seeing them in Arlington on the South side and I did not like the Looks of them than at a Neighborhood store. But enough on that I just want the survivors know that your Not alone and I’m pray that Justice is done in March of 2016.

  22. srwd123 says:

    Yep i was very devastated about this whole incident it will always terrify me when i lock my doors i think about them i lock my doors now in the day time as well just because of what happened here with the harvey family i guess I’ll NEVER FORGET THIS CRAZZZZZZY NESS WOW PLEASE PEOPLE PROTECT YOUR SELF AND YOUR FAMILY NOOO MATTER WHAT MAY GOD WATCH OVER US AND PROTECT US ALL IN JESUS NAME AMEN

  23. CDE says:

    the brutality of the human race is evidenced in this horrific crime. how can a loving god let this happen? idk. go ask him. i suspect that he might mention the word ‘sin’ in his response.

    • Gbfan08 says:

      God didn’t “let” this happen. Believe it or not, but God, because he loves us so much, gave us this gift called free will, and it is with this gift that we have the choice of whether to choose Him or not (as evidenced through our actions). When we decide not to choose Him, free will leads to sin, which then imposes on the rights and free will of others, which is what happens in horrific situations such as this. I’m sure that God would mention that as well.

  24. james says:

    I hope on the 18th of this month your death is 10 times worse than that families.Then if there is a god you will suffer for eternity.

  25. james says:

    Burn in hell you sorry piece of shit.

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