Stacey Gray not facing murder charges in Ga., faces rape charges after case dismissed last month in Ala.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A capital murder case in Chambers County, Ala. made headlines just a few weeks ago because it was dismissed at trial time. The judge says the state didn’t provide necessary DNA for the case to move forward. Now, the man who was accused in Alabama faces charges in Columbus for crimes against the same woman involved.
Stacey Gray was accused in Chambers Co. of murdering Renee Eldridge in 2015. When the case was dismissed earlier this month, Gray didn’t leave jail - he was extradited across the state line.
Now he’s accused of raping the same woman and holding her against her will in Georgia the year prior to her murder.
The attorney representing Stacey Gray against rape and false imprisonment charges says police didn’t present enough evidence for probable cause in the case against him Monday morning.
Gray was in Recorder’s Court where Judge Julius Hunter disagreed with Attorney Shevon Sutcliffe Thomas’ argument - moving the case to Superior Court.
“The detective who presented the case actually indicated that she was handed... like a hand-off what she presented, but the one who actually conducted interviews and whatnot wasn’t here,” said Thomas, Gray’s attorney.
Thomas says that Gray was dating Eldridge’s mother, but was also having a consensual sexual relationship with her simultaneously.
“There was a secret relationship between the alleged victim and my client,” said Thomas.
Police said that Eldridge told them in December of 2014 she was raped “for what felt like forever” by a man who’s face she never saw and the man cleaned her and the room when he was finished.
A rape kit showed DNA from Stacey Gray that was collected from Eldridge. She told investigators she had not had consensual sexual relations with anyone since a month prior.
As it stands today, Gray is not facing murder charges in Muscogee County and Thomas took exception to recent statements he says were made by District Attorney Mark Jones on Facebook.
“The district attorney here has gone on Facebook or some social media and announced something about a murder charge and the death penalty... which I don’t understand. It’s beyond me why a sitting district attorney is indicating death penalty without the case even being gone in front of a grand jury.”
A soldier was arrested at one point and charged with raping Eldridge but the charges were dropped. The crime happened at her home.
She was found murdered seven months later.
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