October 26, 2005

Bridge killer put to death in Missouri

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (Reuters) - A Missouri man who killed
two women by pushing them off a bridge spanning the Mississippi
River was put to death early Wednesday, a Missouri prison
official said.

Marlin Gray, 38, died at 12:07 a.m. CDT after workers at
the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in
Bonne Terre, Missouri, injected him with a series of lethal
drugs, stopping his heart.

Gray was convicted and sentenced to death for his role in
the April 1991 rapes and murders of two young women who Gray
and his friends encountered by chance after a night spent
drinking and smoking marijuana.

In his final statement, Gray denied having committed the

"I go with the peace of mind of never having taken a human
life," Gray said. "This is not a death it is a lynching."

The women, Julie Kerry and her sister Robin Kerry, were
showing a cousin a poem they had written on a bridge, which
spans the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois, when
they ran into Gray and his three friends shortly before

The men raped the sisters then pushed them off the bridge,
a fall of about 70 feet, officials said. Julie Kerry's body was
later found, but Robin Kerry's body was never located. The
cousin, Thomas Cummins, survived the fall.

One of Gray's accomplices, Reginald Clemons, is on death
row awaiting execution. Another accomplice, Antonio Richardson,
was sentenced to death but had his sentence commuted two years
ago to life without parole. A fourth accomplice, Daniel
Winfrey, avoided the death penalty through a plea agreement.

Gray was the 66th inmate executed in Missouri since the
death penalty was reinstated in 1976.