Man guilty in ‘05 murder

July 11, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

A Roxbury man was convicted of first-degree murder last week for one of two Egleston Square killings prosecutors accuse him of committing.

But the jury deadlocked on the second murder charge and a mistrial was declared on that specific charge.

Terry L. Gray, 40, already faces a mandatory life sentence in prison without parole for the first murder conviction. But prosecutors are vowing to retry him on the second murder charge.

“We have every confidence we can prove the [other killing] case,” said Jake Wark, spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Gray has killed before. He was previously convicted of manslaughter for the 1983 stabbing death of a fellow teenager while they worked on a Dorchester cleanup crew in a summer youth program.

The victims of the 2005 Egleston Square shooting deaths were Terry Gray’s stepfather, James Gray, and his aunt’s boyfriend, Charles Wilson. Both victims were found shot to death in their apartments—James Gray at Walnut Park Apartments, 1990 Columbus Ave, and Wilson at 125 Amory St.

Terry Gray was convicted of murdering Wilson, along with related firearm violations. He was also convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for putting a gun to his uncle’s head, ordering the man to kneel and asking him, “Who do you want to see first, God or the devil?”

The jury appeared to struggle with the case. After delivering the murder conviction, the jury deliberated for another day before delivering the assault and battery conviction and reporting that they could not decide on the second murder charge.

When a jury delivers decisions on some charges and not others, the process is called a “partial verdict.” Wark said partial verdicts are not unusual. He said the partial verdicts had nothing to do with the replacement of a juror during the deliberations, reportedly because the juror had a previously announced travel commitment.

Wark said that prosecutors believe it is worthwhile to retry Terry Gray on the other murder charge even though he already faces a mandatory life sentence.

“The [life] sentence notwithstanding, the friends, family and loved ones of Mr. [James] Gray deserve some closure,” Wark said.

Wark said prosecutors will begin a retrial on the second murder charge and related firearm charges “as soon as possible,” which could be as early as this week.