WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man will stand trial on charges including first-degree premeditated murder in the death of a 27-year-old woman, a Sedgwick County judge has ruled.
Marvin Lee Gray Jr. is charged in the death of Ciera Ray, whose body was found in her home June 25. Ray’s 3-year-old daughter was found unharmed inside the home, The Wichita Eagle reported. An autopsy report documented 37 stab wounds on Ray’s body.
After hearing nearly three hours of testimony during Gray’s preliminary hearing Thursday, Sedgwick County District Court Judge Jeffrey Goering ruled there was enough evidence to try Gray on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, aggravated burglary, rape and aggravated criminal sodomy.
Prosecutors accuse Gray, an acquaintance of Ray’s, of breaking into her home, sexually assaulting and killing her while her daughter slept in a nearby room.
Through his defense attorney Bradley Sylvester, Gray pleaded not guilty to the charges after Goering’s ruling. He has said when he left her home around 2 a.m. on June 25 she was fine.
Ray’s boyfriend, Michael Rolle, testified during the hearing that he rushed back to Wichita from a business trip on June 25 to see Ray. But when he knocked on her locked front door that evening, Ray’s daughter answered and told Rolle her mother was alone in the bathroom.
“When I opened the door and looked straight ahead I noticed her in the tub,” Rolle said. “At first glance I thought she was in the tub dyeing her hair because her hair looked really dark and black to me.”
Paramedics arrived and told Rolle that Ray had been dead for hours.
Gray, who’s jailed in Sedgwick County on $500,000 bond, is scheduled for a jury trial Nov. 9.
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