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Friday, April 14, 2006

Arraignment Pushed Back Again for Sueann's Murderer

Wednesday, I appeared in court with Sueann's dad, private investigator, John Seay and some others for what we thought was Quinton Ray's formal arraigment. We learned that since his case has now become a death penalty case, they must start with the procedures allover again. This date was the first appearance. We sat there waiting an hour because the DA was having to drive from another county he's covering. I have to tell you it was difficult to sit there with all those people who to our right that we believe know more than they are telling about Sueann's murder.

Once the DA arrived, they brought Ray in and seated him right across from us. This court room was much smaller than the other one so it was ten times worse. Sitting there patting his foot, the judge informed him of the court's proceedings. He started answering "yes ma'am - no ma'am".

Quinton Ray now has two attorney's representing him who specialize in death penalty cases. We had the joy of hearing them stand up and advise the court of their credentials and how Quinton Ray was being violated because he was having to appear in court wearing a jumpsuit and handcuffs. It was almost more than I could take. I wanted to stand up and yell, "WHERE WAS SUEANN'S DEFENSE ON AUGUST 26, 2005"???????????????????

After what seemed to be an hour of rubbish the judge set the formal arraigment for September 20th, to give the new attorney's time to review the over 9,000 page case, which includes the Wal-mart parking lot tapes.

Leaving the court room we were bombarted with news reporters asking question after question. I took one of the interviews at the request of Sueann's dad and I told them straight up what I felt about the case. You can read that whole article below. I'm tired and I'm ready for justice on this situation. Saturday marks two years since Patrice was abducted and murdered. Her killer has not been brought to justice. Sometimes it gets very frustrating!

Cherokee Tribune Article:

By Angela M. Jones Cherokee Tribune Staff Writer

The estranged husband of murdered Woodstock mom Sueann Ray on Wednesday made his first appearance in court since learning he would face the death penalty if convicted.Quinton Ray, 27, of Jasper appeared in Pickens County Superior Court represented by a new attorney, Douglas Ramseur of the Georgia Capital Defender's Office in Atlanta. Ramseur, who has more than 10 years of experience trying capital cases, is replacing the public defender who was representing Ray.Wearing an orange-and-white prison jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled, Ray respectfully answered "Yes, ma'am," and "No, ma'am," when Judge Brenda Weaver asked if he was satisfied with his attorney's representation of him, and if he had any questions about the unified appeal process. Ray was indicted Feb. 20 and charged with the murder of his estranged 26-year-old wife, Ms. Ray, who was last seen Aug. 26, when she went to his home.She was reported missing by her family three days later and that night her Ford Windstar minivan was found abandoned in the Canton Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot.GBI agents discovered Ms. Ray's body Feb. 8 in a shallow grave just of Cherokee Gold Trail in northern Cherokee County shortly after 8 a.m. near the home of Ray's parents.Ray was arrested an hour later and charged with her murder. He also faces charges of kidnapping, concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence.Judge Weaver set Ray's arraignment for 3 p.m. Sept. 20, a compromise between the defense's request it be delayed for five to six months, and District Attorney Joe Hendricks's opinion such a delay would unnecessarily bog down the trial process."While we certainly want to ensure that the defendant has every opportunity to a fair trial, at the same time, we intend to proceed with the process, and take the matter to trial as soon as we are able," Judge Weaver said, after setting the arraignment date.The judge also urged the defense to review footage from Wal-Mart's security camera, as the district attorney only can keep the machine needed to view them until the end of May. She issued an order as well that all investigating agencies involved preserve all the evidence related to the case, including the officer's' rough notes of the early investigation. She reserved the right to rule on a motion by the defense requesting that Ray be allowed to appear at future hearings dressed in civilian clothes, and without shackles, deferring the request to Major Allen Wigington and the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.Family and friends of Ms. Ray attended the hearing, including her father, Danny Jenkins of Augusta, who said while it may be a long trial, he is determined to see it through until the end."We certainly want to see all of the proper processes followed in this case, because our No. 1 goal is to find justice for Sueann, however long it takes," said Jill Bennett, a friend of the Jenkins family."Still, it's hard to sit there and see the man we believe responsible for her death, because Sueann had no one there to represent her," she added. "She was judged, tried and executed all in one night, but here he is being given so many more chances than she ever received."Several members of the Ray family also attended the hearing, including an aunt and several cousins. They declined to comment on the proceedings.Ray's father, Harold Danny Ray of Ball Ground, also faces charges for allegedly aiding his son in covering up the murder and burying Ms. Ray. He was arraigned last month and is out on bond


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