Thursday, February 15, 2007

8:21 AM Posted by: M., 3 comments

This happened a little over a year ago, but it is just a terrifying/interesting story.

Last New Year's Eve in Arlington, VA, my friend was driving home from work at around 8:00pm and when he parked his car across the street from his house and got out, two men approached him asking for money. He immediately threw them his keys and his wallet and one of them threw him on the ground and held him down while the other looked through the money. My friend thought he was going to get away, until the man with the wallet said, "let's kill him."

So then, these two men proceeded to slice his throat and stab my friend's body repeatedly with three large kitchen knives--two which broke the blades off in his body...He collapsed for a minute in a mass of blood and then somehow managed to run to his front door, get inside and set the lock. His parents were waiting dinner for him, and then all of the sudden, their son burst in the door, covered in blood and wounds. At the trial, his dad said that his own son was barely recognizable.

My friend was taken to the hospital and remained in a coma for 2 weeks. Meanwhile, the two men had fled and began driving down to Richmond, VA. When they got there, they stopped at two different families' homes, robbed them, and murdered all the family members--who ranged in age from 4 to 55 (7 died in all), plus, the day before my friend's attack, one of the men murdered his wife.

My friend came out of the coma, but was so badly mutilated that he had to go through a series of reconstructive surgeries--of which to this day, he still has 8 months of more surgery to go (a total of about 22 months of surgery). His right arm is paralyzed and is barely recognizable as an arm...his tattoos are all slashed through so there are big scars running down the middle of them...and his neck has two big slice marks across the middle.

I have no big, intelligent conclusion to draw from this, but just what surprised me most of all, is that he didn't have really one big life realization or change from this--at least that he shares with me, but he talks to me about his scars and how he feels a lot. He is freaked out of the dark still, and he feels like he has a fucked up body and a messed up brain. When he was in the hospital, I was thinking that he probably would come out wanting more out of life in a big way and wanting to be in Heaven with a reconstructed body to "dance" or something--but that hasn't happened, at least not yet. It is just interesting to me that such a tragic thing can happen and someone can go through the worst pain of pains and still not feel totally like they want to pursue God--not like he might not feel that way at some point, but he doesn't say that now...I don't know, I am not trying to say anything here--it was just interesting to me, because I assumed that if there is a God, pain like this would have some kind of purpose--and it might have a huge one I can't see...

Another interesting thing, is that during the trial, the defense said that the killers had both been abused as children, and one of the men was repeatedly sodomized by a relative from age 4 to 12. After the abuse stopped, they started using drugs. It makes me realize how complicated life is and how shitty it can be. How does God put all this together--abuse these kids and then they will stab and kill others and rot in prison for the rest of their lives---seems like a pointless, sick equation.


Here is a description of his trial testimony...

He killed the Harveys, his wife and the Tucker/Baskerville family.
But one victim of Ricky Javon Gray's violence lived to tell his terrifying story of pain, torture and sheer panic.


Ryan Carey, a timid and thoughtful 26-year-old from Arlington, recounted yesterday how he barely survived a New Year's Eve attack by Gray and his alleged accomplice, Ray Joseph Dandridge. In front of his parents' house, Carey was stabbed and beaten over and over.
He stumbled into the house, covered with blood, saying, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!"


" I don't remember much, other than feeling that I was going to die in my parents' house, on my parents' floor," he told the jurors.

After he testified, Carey allowed Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Learned Barry to unbutton the top half of his white shirt to show jurors the scars lining his neck and torso. Barry also held Carey's limp right arm, which was paralyzed by one of the stab wounds.

Carey barely lived. About 12 hours later, the Harvey family wouldn't be so lucky.
Jurors who convicted Gray on Thursday of five counts of capital murder in the deaths of Bryan, Kathryn, Stella and Ruby Harvey heard evidence yesterday from the prosecution and defense to help them decide Gray's punishment -- either life in prison without parole or the death penalty.


One more defense witness, an expert from California, will testify Monday morning about whether Gray poses future danger to society. He will be followed by closing arguments and then, the jury will deliberate.

Carey and his father provided some of the most emotionally charged testimony of the week. David Carey was nearly moved to tears when telling how his son, who was athletic and upbeat, has changed since the attack.

"He's not the same boy," he said.

The jury also heard Gray's confession to the attack, one of four confessions recorded in writing Jan. 7 by Philadelphia Detective Howard Peterman.

"He was a victim of my misunderstanding," Gray told Peterman.
Carey had just returned to his parents' home after working a shift at a local grocery store when Gray and Dandridge approached him. Gray punched him, then ordered him onto the ground.
He tossed his wallet and keys to Gray, telling him, "Take what you need."


But Gray and Dandridge had other ideas, Carey told the jury. "We have to kill this [expletive]," he heard Gray and Dandridge say. They beat and stabbed him until two knife blades were broken off into Carey's abdomen. That's when Carey was able to run home. He survived after two weeks in a coma and two months in the hospital.


3 comments:

Harvey friend in Richmond said...

I witnessed the testimony you describe at the trial of my friends' murderer. Your friend's pain is with us all here every day too. It took great courage for him to stand up to the evil in that courtroom, and share his story. I am so sorry for what he suffers, but very grateful that he lived. We continue praying for the healing of his body, and more importantly, his heart. Peace.

marie said...

Hi

Wow,

I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you so much for the prayers for him. I know prayers are with you too.

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