- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

RICHMOND (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the trial of a man charged in the gruesome slayings of a musician’s family yesterday whittled down the pool of potential jurors, one of whom burst into tears during questioning from the defense.

Ricky Jovan Gray, 29, is charged with capital murder in the New Year’s Day killings of musician Bryan Harvey, 49; his wife, Kathryn, 39; and daughters, Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4. The family was discovered in the basement of their burning home, bound in duct tape and beaten, with their throats cut. Gray, who is suspected in a string of bloody crimes, has pleaded not guilty.

On the second day of jury selection, the prosecution and defense finished choosing the required pool of 28 potential jurors, from which the final panel of 12 jurors and four alternates will be selected today.

Potential jurors were questioned in panels of three and asked about their views on the death penalty and whether they could handle seeing graphic crime-scene photographs. Defense attorney Jeffrey Everhart asked members of one panel whether they could consider a life sentence over death if it can be proved that Gray killed two children.

The question caused one potential juror to cry. “I would have trouble with that,” she said.

She later was struck from the jury pool.

Less than a week after the Harvey slayings, another Richmond family was found slain in their home.

Gray’s nephew Ray Joseph Dandridge, also 29, was charged with capital murder in the Jan. 6 killings of Percyell Tucker, 55; his wife, Mary Baskerville-Tucker, 47; and her daughter, Ashley Baskerville, 21. Like the Harveys, they were found in their home, bound, with their throats cut.

Dandridge is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 18.

The Arlington men were captured Jan. 7 at the home of Dandridge’s father in Philadelphia. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for both.

Opening statements were expected to begin today.

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