Murder Trial Restarts With More Fireworks

Gary McCray On Trial On 4 Counts Of Murder

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A man whose trial on four counts of murder resumed Tuesday fired his attorney and was ordered out of the courtroom twice -- and that was before lunch.

Gary McCray, who is accused of shooting and killing four people on May 23, 2004, was back in a Clay County courtroom after his trial was suspended in July.

McCray is accused of killing Phillip Perrotta, 53, John Whitehead, 37, John Oliver Ellis Jr., 51, and Robin Selkirk, 45.

Investigators said the victims were each shot with a high-powered semi-automatic weapon. Clay County deputies said McCray apparently knew the victims and they said the house where the shooting took place was known for drug activity.

After being arrested in a Tallahassee motel, McCray was held on drug charges while prosecutors built their homicide case against him.

In February 2006, Judge Frederic Buttner found McCray not competent to stand trial and sent him to a Florida State Hospital for treatment. Later that year, after hearing the recommendation of doctors at the mental hospital, Buttner ruled McCray was able to assist in his own defense.

McCray went on trial in July, but after two days of jury selection in which McCray threatened his lawyers, argued with Judge William Wilkes and was physically restrained, the trial was suspended.

The jury picked in July was back in the courtroom Tuesday to hear opening statements in the case.

After years of waiting for justice for their loved ones, family members were in the courtroom, hoping to get finally some answers. However, similarly to his previous court appearance, McCray began by speaking out of turn.

He was removed from the courtroom once during the early-morning session before firing his attorneys.

When the judge asked him if knew how to conduct himself as an attorney, McCray said yes but his attorneys were reinstated and he was removed from the courtroom after speaking out of turn about irrelevant topics.

After lunch, McCray's attorneys asked that the defendant be allowed to return to the courtroom again. The judge said he would allow it out, but warned that if McCray spoke out of turn again, he would be sent to cell to watch the remainder of the trial on closed circuit TV.

Witnesses were able to take the stand on Tuesday as prosecutors began to build their case.

The trial is expected to continue on Wednesday.

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