Ramona Gray, a 31-year-old DC woman who pleaded guilty to stabbing to death a woman she believed was in a romantic relationship with the father of her children, was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for the crime.
Shemese Grant, 31, was killed Aug. 31 in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Good Hope Road in Southeast D.C. An autopsy on Grant revealed 18 stab wounds to her neck, torso and extremities, according to the government’s proffer of evidence. Witnesses described the murder weapon as a long knife, with a blade of at least 7 inches.
When entering her guilty plea in January, Gray said that the government’s account, that she spotted Grant’s car in the Good Hope Road SE parking lot, waited inside a local shop for Grant to appear, then, when Grant’s back was turned, attacked her, stabbed her multiple times, then fled the scene in a friend’s car, is true and accurate.
“I just want to say I’m sorry to the Grant family,” Gray said in January. “I’m sorry for taking away a loved one.”
Judge Gerald Fisher’s sentence falls at the high end of the 22 to 26 years incarceration outlined in Gray’s plea agreement.
A press release from the USAO is after the jump.
Maryland Woman Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison For Fatal Stabbing of Woman in Parking Lot-Defendant Ambushed Unarmed Victim in August 2010 Attack -
WASHINGTON – Ramona Gray, 31, was sentenced today to a prison term of 25 years for second degree murder while armed in the fatal stabbing in August 2010 of a woman in a Southeast Washington parking lot, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Gray, of District Heights, Md., pled guilty in January 2011 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She was sentenced today by the Honorable Gerald I. Fisher. Upon completion of her prison term, Gray will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s factual proffer, on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, at approximately 5:25 p.m., Gray stabbed Shemese Grant, 31, of Washington, D.C., repeatedly with a knife in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Good Hope Road SE. The victim was pronounced dead within an hour. The autopsy revealed a total of 18 multiple sharp force injuries: eight stab wounds to the neck and torso, and ten incised wounds to the head, torso, and extremities.
The government’s evidence showed that Gray attacked and stabbed Ms. Grant to death because she was upset that Ms. Grant was with a man with whom Gray once shared a romantic relationship. The killing came barely a year after Gray was placed on probation for an earlier crime — also involving a jealous impulse and Gray’s past relationship with the same man.
In the earlier case, Gray pled guilty to arson for setting fire in October 2007 to the home of a family member of the same former lover. Ms. Grant was not involved in that case. That fire made several families homeless and caused extensive damage. Gray was sentenced to a term of 18 months. The prison time was suspended and Gray was placed on 18 months of probation.
According to a factual proffer submitted at the time of the guilty plea, Gray had remained in contact with the former lover in the years after the fire. The trouble last August 31 began after Gray’s phone was accidentally connected to her former lover’s cellular telephone. Gray overheard a conversation he was having with Ms. Grant while they were riding together in a rental car. Over the phone, Gray confronted her former lover, and the call ended.
After this conversation, throughout the day, Gray called her former lover’s cellular telephone and sent him phone text messages. Later in the day, she armed herself with a long knife and rode around in a car to find Ms. Grant. Not long before the fatal attack, Gray pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store in the 1700 block of Good Hope Road SE. There, she saw a car that she recognized as belonging to Ms. Grant. Gray then entered the convenience store and stood near the entrance, peering outward into the parking lot.
From inside the store, Gray saw the rental car pull up in the parking lot. Ms. Grant got out of the car, and when she turned her back to the store, Gray ran outside. She stabbed Ms. Grant repeatedly and then she fled the scene.
In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the outstanding work of Metropolitan Police Department Violent Crime Branch Detectives Dwayne Corbett, Wayne Marable, and Darin March and Forensic Science Division Technician John Holder. He also commended the work of paralegal Marian Russell, Victim Witness Specialist Marcey Rinker, and Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Gripkey, who investigated and prosecuted the case