The Supreme Court Monday let stand an eastern Idaho man’s murder convictions in the 1989 shooting deaths of his wife and her friend.
Without comment, the court turned down William Gray’s argument that the jury should have been told his wife’s friend reportedly had received a death threat from someone else.
He also said statements by his late wife that she planned to divorce him and marry another man should not have been allowed as evidence against him.
Betty Gray and Reeda Roundy were found shot to death on July 24, 1989, at Roundy’s home in Idaho Falls. On one wall, “Satan loves you” was written in human blood.
Three years later, Gray was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Betty Gray’s sister testified that Betty Gray had said she planned to divorce her husband and marry another man, that Gray knew about the affair and that she was planning to see the man the day she was killed.
Gray’s lawyers wanted to introduce evidence that others may have committed the crime. But the judge would not allow as evidence statements by Roundy to relatives before her death that an ex-boyfriend had threatened to kill her.
Gray was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. A state appeals court upheld the convictions.
In the appeal acted on by the nation’s highest court, Gray’s lawyers said allowing his wife’s statements as evidence violated his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him. They also argued that he should have been allowed to present Roundy’s statements to show that she may have been the killer’s primary target.
Gray’s lawyers also said his rights were violated when the judge failed to question one juror in determining whether the jury was prejudiced by media coverage and out-of-court statements by a witness.
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