Pair Admit N.Va. Stabbing

By Jamie Stockwell and Carol Morello
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Two men charged with killing two families in Richmond told police they first slit the throat of a 25-year-old Arlington County man on New Year's Eve, breaking two kitchen knives in the random attack, according to court records filed yesterday.

Ricky J. Gray and Ray J. Dandridge, both 28, "admitted to being involved in the stabbing" while being questioned by police in Philadelphia, where they were arrested Saturday in the Richmond slayings, according to Arlington Circuit Court records.

During the interview, the men told police that pieces of long kitchen knives with black handles were left at the scene. The attack on the Arlington man, who has not been identified because he is a witness, occurred outside his parents' house on North 25th Street, and he remains hospitalized, police said.

The statements were included in a warrant Arlington police obtained to search the home of Gray's grandmother Tuesday night. Inside the house, in the 2100 block of South Monroe Street, police found two kitchen knives with black handles, the records said.

On Dec. 31, when police arrived at the Arlington crime scene, in a quiet and relatively safe area of the county, a trail of blood led them from the house to the victim's car, which was parked across the street, the records said. Police found three pieces of broken knife blades and a black handle but had no suspects until a call from Philadelphia police. Arlington police said robbery was the motive.

The Dec. 31 attack preceded the slayings of seven people -- including two children -- in their Richmond homes Jan. 1 and 6. Authorities said they are also investigating the pair in the killing of Gray's wife, whose body was found in Washington, Pa., on Nov. 5, and a Jan. 3 home invasion in Chesterfield County, a Richmond suburb.

In the Chesterfield robbery, relatives of Brenda Dale Mason and her husband, Roy, said the Masons were inside their three-bedroom house while two men and a woman ransacked it. They took a television, a DVD player, a computer and $800 in cash, the relatives said.

To keep the men from tying him up, Roy Mason "begged and pleaded that his wife was sick and that if anything happened to her that he would not be able to get to her," said Mason's nephew, Roger Toney.

The robbers, who agreed not to tie up the couple, were respectful and polite, and said "yes, sir, and no, sir," Toney said.

Gray and Dandridge, who attended high schools in Arlington, were convicted of committing crimes together in Northern Virginia. In 1995, they were charged in a string of armed robberies that occurred on the same night, including the stickup of two Georgetown University students.

Dandridge served 10 years and was released in November. Gray served three years but returned to jail in March 2000 after he was charged with abducting a man after a traffic accident. He was acquitted of that charge, but while awaiting trial, he was found with cocaine during a search and was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

After he was released, Gray moved to Washington, Pa., about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. There, he married Treva Smith, whose body was found in November in a parking lot. Her mother said yesterday that she suspected Gray right away.

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