Group protests Ricky Gray execution

Hours before the scheduled execution of Ricky Gray, Virginia Rovnyak, right, says he deserves mercy. Staff photo Hours before the scheduled execution of Ricky Gray, Virginia Rovnyak, right, says he deserves mercy. Staff photo

Just hours before Ricky Gray’s scheduled execution for the murders of a Richmond couple and their two young daughters, a group of locals opposing the death penalty formed in front of Charlottesville Circuit Court.

“Killing is not a solution. It’s never a solution,” says Virginia Rovnyak. “Mr. Gray, in particular, deserves some mercy in his life.”

Gray was allegedly subjected to rape and abuse at a young age, which led to the development of a drug addiction by the time he was 12 years old, she says. Gray pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death in 2006.

“The murders were a terrible thing to do,” Rovnyak says, adding that Gray was allegedly using PCP when he invaded the home of victims Bryan Harvey, his wife, Kathryn, and their children, 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Ruby. He allegedly slit their throats, beat them and then set their house on fire. “The state should not also set an example of violence,” she says.

Bryan Harvey often played with his band, The Dads, in Charlottesville in the ‘80s.
Gray also confessed to murdering his wife, Treva Terrell Gray, as well as being an accomplice in the murder of Ashley Baskerville, who allegedly assisted in the Harvey family murders.

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