During Scott County murder trial, man denies killing his parents

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJanuary 24, 2012 

GEORGETOWN — In a recorded interview played for the jury in his murder trial, James Anthony Gray flatly denied killing his parents to a Scott County sheriff's detective.

"Did you kill your parents?" Det. Rodger Persley asked Gray in the Aug. 21, 2007 interview played Tuesday in the Scott Circuit courtroom.

"No, sir," Anthony Gray answered. "I couldn't do it. No way. ... I couldn't kill my mom. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to do it."

Anthony Gray, 42, is charged with two counts of murder and tampering with physical evidence in the 2007 shooting deaths of his parents, James and Vivian Gray. The couple was found dead in their home on Cincinnati Pike near Sadieville in northern Scott County.

During the same interview, Anthony Gray acknowledged that a friend of his parents, Jodi Lucas, had apparently fingered him as the culprit who killed the Grays. Lucas was the person who found the Grays dead on April 26, 2007.

"I don't understand why she is pushing so hard to get involved," Anthony Gray said of Lucas. "I don't understand why she is trying to be the child who grew up in that house."

Gray said in the interview that it was Lucas who told him that his father had been shot twice in the head, and that his mother had been shot once in the head.

"Jodi told me how they were shot," Gray said.

Earlier in the interview, Gray suggested to Persley that Lucas might have had something to do with the murders.

"You have any idea at all who murdered your parents?" Persley asked.

"I wish I did. Looks like Jodi had something to cover up," Anthony Gray said.

Anthony Gray noted that his parents had planned to build a new house, and he told Persley that Lucas had wanted to buy their existing house. But Anthony Gray said he had hoped to buy the existing house from his parents so he could be near them as they grew older.

And in answer to allegations from Lucas that he might have killed his parents, Anthony Gray said: "What proof does she have? ... I love my parents. I'd do anything for them."

In an earlier recorded interview, Persley asked Anthony Gray what motive someone might have to kill the parents.

"It had to be money," Anthony Gray said. "It had to be a young person strung out on drugs and wanting money."

In the same interview, Gray told Persley: "I hope it was money and not spite, because if it was spite, I'm in danger."

At the Persley's coaxing, Anthony Gray said the only scenarios he can imagine in the deaths is that someone encountered his parents outside and walked them at gunpoint into the house, or they were killed by someone they knew.

No stranger could have pulled up to the house in a vehicle without his parents' being alerted by the barking of several dogs inside and outside the house, Anthony Gray said.

The elder Grays died without a will. Anthony Gray told Persley that "Mom kept joking with me, 'I'm going to cut you out of the will,' but I don't know if she ever meant it."

The elder Grays reportedly kept as much as $30,000 or more in cash in a safe that was never found. Lucas reportedly told investigators about a secret door that led to the basement, but detectives searched the basement and found no safe.

Anthony Gray admitted that he took a laptop computer and two cameras from the house after the bodies were found, but he said he took no cash from the house. He said he took the items in an attempt to retrieve photos, and that he had told no one about taking the property because "I didn't know to ask."

The taped interviews were played for the jury on the fourth day of testimony in the trial, which began last week. For reasons that haven't been fully explained, no testimony was heard on Thursday, Friday or Monday in the case.

To make up for lost time, testimony will be heard Saturday and possibly even Sunday.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday before Scott Circuit Judge Paul Isaacs.

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