- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Two men accused of killing seven persons in Virginia were under investigation in the death of one suspect’s wife, but police didn’t have enough evidence to arrest them before the Richmond slayings, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Ricky Gavon Gray and Ray Joseph Dandridge are charged with murder and conspiracy in the New Year’s Day slayings of a couple and their two children and three killings in another home on Jan. 6, all of them in Richmond.

Members of both families were bound and their throats cut.

The body of Mr. Gray’s wife, Treva Gray, 35, was found Nov. 5 near woods in Washington, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh. There was no sign of trauma to her body. The cause of her death is not known.

“No one has a crystal ball,” Washington County District Attorney John C. Pettit said yesterday. “We didn’t have the evidence and there was no indication as to these people going anywhere and doing what ultimately occurred in Richmond, Virginia.”

Mr. Pettit said Mr. Gray and Mr. Dandridge were considered “persons of interest” in Mrs. Gray’s death.

He said he agreed with police, after a thorough investigation, that there was not enough evidence to arrest the men.

Mr. Pettit said his office has new leads stemming from the men’s arrest in Philadelphia on Jan. 7 that could help the case.

The two men told Philadelphia police that they were in Washington County at the time of Mrs. Gray’s death, he said.

“I think it would be fair to say that with what we had before and some of the information we have gained, if it checks out, it would be enough for an arrest,” he said.

Washington County investigators had been planning to travel to Virginia to interview the men before law-enforcement officials told them the suspects’ attorneys refused to allow such a meeting, Mr. Pettit said.

If enough evidence is discovered, Pennsylvania officials would consider arresting the men and trying to extradite them, but “Virginia should proceed first,” Mr. Pettit said.

Lt. Dan Stanek, a detective with the Washington police department, said investigators considered Mrs. Gray’s death a homicide from the time her body was discovered last year.

Mr. Gray and Mr. Dandridge had never been arrested in southwestern Pennsylvania, but both had “pretty lengthy criminal records in other states, primarily in Virginia,” he said.

Mr. Dandridge had been released from prison Oct. 26 after serving 10 years for robbery, Virginia Department of Corrections records show.

Mr. Gray had served six years in prison for robbery, firearms possession and cocaine possession convictions. He was released in 2002.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide