Scott County

Trial of man accused of killing his parents delayed

James Anthony Gray at an earlier trial.
James Anthony Gray at an earlier trial. Greg Kocher

Nearly 10 years after being accused of murdering his parents, James Anthony Gray will have to wait a few more months to be tried again for the crime.

Gray, 47, is accused of killing, James E. Gray, 63, and Vivian Gray, 55. The two were found shot to death in their home in northern Scott County on April 26, 2007. Gray is also charged with tampering with physical evidence.

Gray’s jury trial, originally scheduled for Tuesday morning, was rescheduled for May 15. According to court records, the trial was delayed because the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office filed a motion to exclude evidence about an alternate perpetrator.

Brian Hewlett, co-counsel for Gray’s defense, said he was disappointed in the delay.

“Clearly Anthony has been in prison for nine years,” he said. “We wanted a chance for him to get his day in court.”

Gray has been tried twice. A 2012 jury could not reach a unanimous verdict so a judge declared a mistrial.

Gray was tried again in 2013 and was found guilty on two counts of murder and one count of tampering with physical evidence. However, the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction because, it said, Gray’s confession to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office “was not the voluntary product of Gray’s free will.”

That led to his upcoming second retrial.

Hewlett, who feels optimistic that Gray will be found not guilty at his upcoming trial, said an investigator has interviewed an additional witness who “did time” with Peter Hafer, a man who the defense accused of being the real murderer of the Gray’s in a 2012 trial.

The witness reportedly has information that could possibly lead to Hafer being implicated as the murderer. Hafer previously pleaded guilty in 2010 to a federal weapons charge relating to pistols stolen from a Cynthiana pawn shop.

“There is a mountain of evidence against Peter Hafer and a molehill against Anthony Gray,” Hewlett said.