- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

RICHMOND — A grand jury yesterday returned capital murder charges against two men arrested in the New Year’s week slayings of seven persons, authorities announced.

“If the evidence bears it out, we intend to ask for the death penalty,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring said at a press conference.

The indictments were returned against Ray Joseph Dandridge, 29, and Ricky Javon Gray, 28, both of Arlington County.

The two already were being held on murder and robbery charges in the killings of two families in Richmond.

On New Year’s Day, police discovered the bodies of Bryan Harvey, 49, his wife, Kathryn, 39, and their two daughters, Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4.

On Jan. 6, police found Percyell Tucker, 55, his wife, Mary Tucker, 47, and her daughter, Ashley Baskerville, 21, slain in their home.

Both families were bound, beaten and had their throats cut, police said.

Gray was indicted on five capital murder counts in the Harvey slayings, and the grand jury indicted Dandridge on three counts in the Tucker and Baskerville killings.

Mr. Herring said there are more murder charges than there are victims because prosecutors are using several grounds for capital murder convictions.

They include murder during the commission of robbery and murder of two or more persons in a three-year period.

The men will be tried separately, likely this summer, Mr. Herring said.

Mr. Herring didn’t rule out that charges against each of the men could be flipped — Dandridge being charged in the Harvey slayings and Gray charged in the Tucker and Baskerville slayings.

“That, frankly, will depend on whether we’ve obtained the conviction and sentence we deem appropriate,” Mr. Herring said.

A vehicle taken from the site of the Tucker and Baskerville killings led police to Dandridge and Gray outside Philadelphia.

Police in Pennsylvania also are investigating whether Gray had a hand in his wife’s slaying.

Treva Terrell Gray, 35, was found asphyxiated Nov. 5 near woods about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

The Harvey killings rattled Richmond, where the family was widely known for their musical and business interests.

Mr. Harvey had been a guitarist and singer for the critically acclaimed duo House of Freaks, which released five albums on three labels between 1987 and 1995.

Mrs. Harvey co-owned World of Mirth, a quirky toy and novelty store in a Richmond shopping district.

Officials would not go into details surrounding the case, citing a gag order prosecutors hope will keep the trial local.

“Their fate should be decided by 12 citizens in the city of Richmond,” said Matthew Geary, chief deputy with the commonwealth attorney’s office.

The men face separate arraignments this week.

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