GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – After repeated delays and several courtroom outbursts, all was calm on Wednesday in the case of a man accused of killing four people in May 2004.
A day after the judge told the defendant that if he made one more outburst, he would have to watch his murder trial from a jail cell, Gary McCray sat quietly in court.
McCray is accused of killing Phillip Perrotta, 53, John Whitehead, 37, John Oliver Ellis Jr., 51, and Robin Selkirk, 45, in what is thought to have been a drug-related crime because three months before the slayings, three of the victims were arrested in a drug raid along with McCray at the same home where the crime was committed.
Clay County deputies said McCray apparently knew the victims and they said the house where the shooting took place was known for drug activity.
With the defendant quiet, prosecutors began calling on witnesses.
"He was just going to find out who did it. Who had said something about him selling drugs or something," McCray's friend Amanda Long testified.
When the defense questioned Long about whether McCray had ever threatened anyone in the house before the slayings, she said no.
Witness Travis Russell, who is a three-time convicted felon and former crack addict, testified that he too was approached by McCray. He said McCray thought someone in the house was wearing a wire.
"He thinks somebody in the house told on him. About ? drugs," said Russell.
During cross examination, the defense questioned the possibility that another suspect was involved in the killings, claiming none of the prosecution's witnesses saw McCray with a rifle even though investigators at the crime scene said the victims were shot with a high-powered semi-automatic weapon.
Prosecutors noted in court that on the night of the slayings, the mother of McCray's children, Terry Carter, received a phone call in the middle of the night at her home near Orlando.
She testified that she was not able to identify the male voice on the phone and that the caller asked her to drive to Daytona Beach. Without any further explanation, she testified that she awoke her two small children and left without knowing with whom she spoke.
"I mean, it wasn't him on the phone, but I thought it would have been about him. I didn't know," Carter said.
Also in court on Wednesday, the prosecution called to the stand a Clay County deputy who claimed there were three eyewitnesses who identified McCray as a suspect in the killings. However, the defense argued there was no solid evidence to link McCray to the crimes.
McCray's trial is expected to continue on Thursday.