State of Missouri v. Marlin Gray

887 S.W.2d 369 (Mo.banc 1994)

Marlin Gray was executed at 12:07 a.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2005.

GrayMCase Facts:  On the evening of April 4,1991 Martin Gray, Reginald Clemons, Antonio Richardson and Daniel Winfrey went to the Chain of Rocks Bridge which spans the Mississippi River between St.Louis and Illinois. Two sisters, Julie and Robin Kerry and their cousin, Thomas Cummins, also went to the bridge that evening so that the Kerry sisters could show their cousin a poem they had written on the bridge.

While on the bridge the two groups encountered each other, exchanging pleasantries and talking for a short time. Gray showed Cummins and the Kerrys how to climb down a manhole on the deck of the bridge to a metal platform that lead to a concrete pier supporting the bridge. Gray told Cummins it was a good place to be alone with a woman. When the two groups separated the Kerrys and Cummins walked east toward Illinois and the others went west toward Missouri.

Shortly after the groups separated, Clemons suggested that they rob the Kerrys and Cummins. Gray replied that he felt like hurting someone and the group turned around and walked east. They eventually came upon the Kerrys and Cummins, who had turned around and were now walking back toward the Missouri side.

As the groups passed a bend in the bridge, Gray put his arm around Cummins and told him ”This is a robbery. Get down on the ground.” Cummins complied and Richardson, Clemons and Winfrey grabbed the Kerrys. One of the men told the girl to stop screaming or they would be thrown off the bridge. Richardson held the first sister’s shoulders down while demons ripped off her clothing and raped her. Richardson then raped the he first sister while demons held her down. Winfrey held the second sister and covered her face with a coat. One of the assailants told Cummins that he would be killed if he looked up from the ground. Gray then told Winfrey to watch Cummins. Gray and Clemons then tore off the second sister’s clothes and each raped her.

Richardson forced the first sister into the manhole and followed while Gray was raping the second sister. When Gray had finished, he asked Winfrey where Richardson had gone. Winfrey indicated that he had gone west. Gray then went in search of Richardson and the first sister. Clemons then forced the second sister down the manhole through which Richardson had taken the first sister. Clemons then robbed Cummins of his wallet, wristwatch, cash and keys. Clemons then forced Cummins into the manhole. Winfrey went to the entrance of the bridge to find Gray.

Under the bridge, the Kerrys and Cummins were told to step out onto the concrete pier below the metal platform. The Kerrys were pushed from the pier and fell a distance of about 70 feet. Cummins was told to jump which he did. When Cummins came to the surface he saw Julie Kerry nearby in the water and called for her to swim, but then lost sight of her. Cummins did not see either sister again.

Richardson and Clemons met Gray and Winfrey near the entrance to the bridge. Clemons said “We pushed them off. Let’s go.” The group ran to their cars and drove to Alton, Illinois to purchase gas, cigarettes and sandwiches with the money from the robbery. The group then drove back to an observation point near the river where Gray and Clemons speculated that the threewould never make it to the shore. Gray told Clemons that Richardson was brave to push the Kerry sisters off the bridge.

Julie Kerry’s body was found three weeks later in the river by the Sheriff of Pemiscot County, Missouri. Robin Kerry’s body was never recovered. Cummins survived and testified at Gray’s trial.

Legal Chronology

04/05 – Marlin Gray with co-defendents Antonio Richardson, Reginald Clemons and Daniel Winfrey rape and kill Julie and Robin Kerry by pushing them off the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri.
06/21 – Gray is charged by indictment with two counts of First Degree Murder, as well as other felonies.

10/21 – The jury returns a verdict of guilty on two counts of Murder 1st Degree.
10/23 – The jury returns a death sentence as punishment on each count of First Degree Murder.
12/03 – The St. Louis City Circuit Court sentences Gary to death for both murder convictions.

05/06 – Gray files a motion for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court of St. Louis City.
11/29 – The Circuit Court denies post-conviction relief

10/25 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms Gray’s conviction and sentence and the denial of post-conviction relief.  State v. Gray, 887 S.W. 2d 369 (Mo. banc 1994).

03/27 – The United States Supreme Court denies certiorari review.  Gray v. Missouri, 514 U.S. 1042 (1995).
04/25 – Gray files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

07/14 – The District Court denies the petition of writ of habeas corpus in an unpublished order.

02/26 – The Court of Appeals affirms the denial of habeas relief.  Gray v. Bowersox, 281 F.3d 749 (8th Cir. 2002).

01/13 – The Supreme Court declines discretionary review.  Gray v. Luebbers, 537 U.S.115 (2002).
06/24 – The State requests the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date.

09/26 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets Gray’s execution date of October 26, 2005.