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State to seek death penalty against Gray

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Stacey Gray
By Alton Mitchell

A little over a month after uncertainty unfolded in a Chambers County capital murder case, prosecutors have reached a decision and will seek the death penalty against a suspect in a Valley homicide dating back almost two years.

In July of 2015 Valley, Alabama police officers discovered the body of Renee Eldridge of Columbus, Ga. She had went missing over the Fourth of July holiday weekend of that year. Her body was discovered three days later in Osanippa Creek in Valley. Only July 13th authorities took Stacey Gray into custody for her death near Notasulga in Macon County.

Gray has sat in the Chambers County Detention Facility in LaFayette awaiting an idea of what penalty he may face in the case if convicted. In September of 2016 it was announced that prosecutors would seek the death penalty against Gray. In March of 2017 that outcome was put on hold as prosecutors had until May 11th to make a decision on which penalty they would seek in the case against Gray.

Last week prosecutors came back and announced they would be seeking the death penalty against Gray for the capital murder charges in the death of Eldrige. Family members of Eldridge have made the 50 mile trip from Columbus to LaFayette for the hearings. Eldridge was laid to rest in her hometown of Columbus is July of 2015.