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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sueann Ray's Husband Accepts Plea Deal for Her 2005 Muder

Late Monday afternoon I received a phone call from the family of Sueann Ray. I was told that Tuesday morning @ 9 a.m. Quinton Ray would be accepting a plea deal in order to avoid the death penalty he was facing. In this plea deal, Quinton Ray would be given two life sentences with the possibility of parole after he serves 20 years.

For those of you who have followed my blog entries and my cases, you will recall the urgency of Sueann Ray since the very beginning. Sueann was the first cousin on Heather Teague who has been missing since August 1995. In fact, Sueann Ray vanished on the 10th anniversary of her first cousin. It all began as a weird coincidence, but would end this past Tuesday (May 22nd) with many of our questions being answers as to why it happened on that date.

Upon the arrival to the court house, I met with the family and we headed up to the main court room where Quinton Ray was being led into the room just as we were. He showed no emotion on his face, just as all other occasions we've seen him. The proceeding began and then District Attorney, Joe Hendricks, Jr. began to read over the wire tap transcripts where Quinton Ray made a stunning confession of how he methodically planned Sueann's murder some six months before he actually killed her. In the transcripts we heard how Sueann arrived at his house on what turned out to be the date Quinton Ray planned for her to die. In his transcripts he revealed that he'd planned a date that would impact the family, especially Sueann's father, Danny Jenkins that he hated. He said that August 26, 2005 just happened to fall on a Friday when he knew Sueann would more than likely be at his residence. This particular date was also close to Fall of the year and after she was buried in the ground, the leaves and twigs would fall onto the grave in the woods and help cover it up. After determining the date, and after Sueann Ray avoided his advances toward her that late August afternoon, Quinton Ray stated that he went into his bedroom and changed into a long sleeve shirt and took out his latex gloves that he'd set aside. He detailed how he choked Sueann to death and then lay her lifeless body on his bed. He'd then go onto detail how he'd trained for nearly five months so his body would be in perfect shape to carry her body into the woods to bury her.

All the months we searched for Sueann and after all the discussions of how we thought he'd planned and carried out Sueann's death, so many of our questions were answered. His conversation was so matter of factly that it was disgusting. I knew that somehow we had to remain calm otherwise we'd have to leave the courtroom and that was not what I wanted.

Then it was time for the judge to go over all of Quinton Ray's rights and make sure he understood that he was pleading GUILTY to murdering Sueann and that he was accepting this sentence. I was so amazed how someone who thought they were so big and bad in the end decided to take that plea deal because he was scared he was going to die. Not for a second did he wonder if Sueann was scared that night as she was dieing. He totally didn't care about anything but saving his own life. When it came time for him to say something to the court and to the family, he didn't want to speak - nor look at anybody. This just shows me of what a coward he really is. Part of me thinks that his hell will begin once he is confined to a facilty where he is not allowed any freedom or to laugh in the faces of any more police officers or others. If I could say one thing to Quinton Ray, I'd like to ask him, "was it really worth it"? Did he really think that in the midst of all of his anger, jealousy, and misplaced hatred over a failed relationship, that murdering Sueann would ever be tolerated by our justice system? Is it really going to be worth spending the rest of his life beind bars? He could've accepted the fact it was over, and possibly met someone else and just let Sueann go on living, but he couldn't. So now, his life will be dictated by somebody else all day long forever.

While we will never really understand the mind of a killer, we can find comfort in the fact that we were able to find Sueann and bring her home. We were able to bring her killer to justice and maybe now, part of this nightmare can gain some sort of closure.

Sueann's family became my family after all the searching we did, and after all the 100's of phone calls we shared throughout this case. We still have one other loved one missing in this family who needs to be found (Heather Teague). It will be two years since Sueann was murdered this August, and 12 years since Heather was abducted. Hopefully by the grace of God Heather's case will be solved soon and this family can begin to heal. There will not be a day that passes that I do not think about Sueann and all the stories I heard about her and what a wonderful person she was. I'll have to imagine what she was like from photos and stories because sadly I'll never know her personally because of what happened. With one of my cases closed, and with a fairly decent sentence to the one responsible, I can feel better about the case of Sueann Ray.

Now we just need to remember Sueann and continue to write letters deligently to the parole board to ensure Quinton Ray stays behind bars.

Information from 11Alive News - Includes Video Link:

A Pickens County man described how he methodically planned his wife's murder for six months. That evidence was revealed Tuesday in court when Quinton Ray pled guilty to murder and kidnapping.Ray was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in a Jasper court room. He admitted strangling his wife Sue Ann Ray in August of 2005. She was missing for six months until her body was found in a shallow grave in a wooded area of northern Cherokee County. In court, Pickens County District Attorney Joe Hendricks read a transcript from an audio-taped conversation ray had with a confidential informant. In that conversation, Ray detailed a six month plan to kill his wife. He also talked about how he worked out for five months so that he would be strong enough to carry her body into the woods.The plea avoids a trial. If he had gone to trial, prosecutors would have sought the death penalty. District Attorney Hendricks said after the plea and sentencing "It was not a situation where he was upset about his wife's infidelity and lost it, he had clearly been planning this for a period of time."Sue Ann Ray's sister Sandy Chasm said "It's kind of hard to hear him just laughing and cutting up about what he did to my sister." Ray told the informant that it took him 90-seconds to kill Sue Ann. He said he told her "You can fight, but it won't do no good." He then placed his arm around her neck and pulled every time she let out a breath.Ray told the informant he dug the grave five months before he murdered his wife. He said he had no regrets and no conscience. When the informant asked him if he felt guilty, Ray responded "I wouldn't have spent six months planning if I was gonna feel guilty about it."Ray's attorney Douglas Ramseur said "Those statement were made while he was intoxicated, while he was under the influence of alcohol." Ramseur said his client is remorseful. Sandy Chasm said "He planned it for six months; he worked out for five months so he could carry her body, that’s not someone who cares."Quinton Ray will be eligible for parole in twenty-years. He will be 48-years old. Sue Ann Ray's family said they will do everything possible to make sure he doesn't get it. Sandy Chasm said she will start a letter-writing campaign to the parole board this week. Quinton Ray's father Daniel Ray also entered a plea in court Tuesday. He was charged with hindering the apprehension of a suspect. Daniel Ray was sentenced to five years probation. Investigators said he helped his son dump his wife's car in a Woodstock shopping center to divert police.

Sueann Ray's Website:

www.FindSueann.Org - Website now Memorial and Information Site


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