MISSOURI, USA. MARLIN GRAY PUT TO DEATH
October 26, 2005: Marlin Gray, a Missouri man convicted of killing two women by pushing them off a bridge spanning the Mississippi River, was put to death in the early morning, a Missouri prison official said. Gray, 38, died at 12:07 am after workers at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, injected him with a series of lethal drugs, stopping his heart.
Gray was convicted and sentenced to death for his role in the April 1991 rapes and murders of two young women who Gray and his friends encountered by chance after a night spent drinking and smoking marijuana. In his final statement, Gray denied having committed the murders.
"I go with the peace of mind of never having taken a human life," Gray said. "This is not a death it is a lynching."
The women, Julie Kerry and her sister Robin Kerry, were showing a cousin a poem they had written on a bridge, which spans the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois, when they ran into Gray and his three friends shortly before midnight.
The men raped the sisters then pushed them off the bridge, a fall of about 70 feet, officials said. Julie Kerry's body was later found, but Robin Kerry's body was never located. The cousin, Thomas Cummins, survived the fall.
One of Gray's accomplices, Reginald Clemons, is on death row awaiting execution. Another accomplice, Antonio Richardson, was sentenced to death but had his sentence commuted two years ago to life without parole. A fourth accomplice, Daniel Winfrey, avoided the death penalty through a plea agreement.
Gray was the 66th inmate executed in Missouri since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. (Sources: Reuters, 26/10/2005)