The mother of one of two young wom-en murdered by a 22-year-old soldier on the Fort Bragg, N.C., Army base says she is relieved that he was sentenced to death because "he didn't get away with it."
Spec. 4 Ronald Adrin Gray smiled as the president of the six-member military court read the sentence Tuesday and ordered him held at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., until he is executed.The soldier's smile turned to a scowl as he was led from the military courtroom in chains.
The jury, composed of three enlisted men and three officers, also sentenced Gray, of Miami, to be dishonorably discharged and reduced to the rank of private. His death sentence will be automatically reviewed by a military appeals court.
Gray, a cook in the 82nd Airborne Division, was convicted in a two-week trial of murdering and raping 18-year-old Laurie Lee Vickery Clay, an Army private, and 24-year old cab driver Kimberly Ruggles of Fayetteville.
Sharon Bowman, Ruggles' mother, was present when Gray was convicted and sentenced to die. "I felt relief," Bowman said, "a whole weakness in the body all over that it was finally over and he didn't get away with it."
Army Pvt. Ann Lange, whom Gray allegedly raped and attempted to kill, also was satisfied by the outcome. "He deserves to die," Lange said. "Anyone who goes around killing people doesn't deserve to live."
A spokesman at Fort Leavenworth said the last execution carried out at the disciplinary barracks was in 1961 when Pfc. John Bennett was hanged for rape and attempted murder while serving in Austria.