SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Scott County man found guilty this summer of murder in the deaths of his parents was sentenced Wednesday to decades in prison.
James and Vivian Gray were found dead of gunshot wounds in their Scott County home on April 24, 2007. James Anthony Gray, now 52, vowed to find his parents’ killer.
But months later, he was accused of being the one to pull the trigger. He was charged with two counts of murder and one count of tampering with evidence, and for 14 years he was held in jail and went to trial three times.
His first trial ended in a hung jury, and his second trial ended in a conviction that was overturned in 2016 by the Kentucky Supreme Court over an involuntary confession. He was convicted again in August.
On Wednesday, Gray sat quietly in a Scott County courtroom as a judge sentenced him to 55 years in prison. He will get credit for the 14 years he’s already served in jail.
Vivian Gray’s brother, Robert Jones, has sat through each of the three trials and never doubted that Gray was guilty.
Jones credits prosecutors who listened to more than 100 hours of jailhouse phone calls, ultimately finding a call in which Gray appeared to have admitted to a friend that he’d committed the crime, Jones said Wednesday.
“I feel very good we got some justice and it looks like it's gonna stick,” Jones said.
Two of the prosecutors who worked on the case from the start helped the special prosecutor in Gray’s third trial.
“We had an older retired couple who were very much in love and married for 40 years, worked hard and had a good life and planned to live out a happy retirement in northern Scott County, and their lives were taken away from them,” said Keith Eardley, the original assistant prosecutor on the case. “This was a serious case and we were all committed to see that justice was done.”