COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Muscogee County Grand Jury has indicted Stacey Gray murder charges less than three weeks after an Alabama judge dismissed capital murder charges in the 2015 death of Renee Eldridge.
Muscogee County District Attorney Mark Jones tells News 3 he will pursue the death penalty against Gray.
“I don’t want to get too much into the evidence,” Jones told WRBL. “But we have DNA evidence in the case that ties him to the 2014 rape as well as the 2015 incident. So, we have DNA evidence and it’s going to tough for Mr. Gray to explain and tough for a trial jury to ignore. Why is Renee Eldridge in a creek dead in Chambers County when Stacey Gray’s DNA is in her home and in her body. He’s got some explaining to do.”
The indictment, which came down Wednesday, was for murder, four counts of felony murder, kidnapping and rape.
Two days after charges were dismissed in Chambers County, Ala., following a ruling that the DNA evidence was not admissible because of a procedural error, Gray was extradited to Columbus to face 2014 rape and false imprisonment charges in a separate case.
The 25-year-old Eldridge was murdered in July 2015. She went missing from Columbus on July 4, 2015.
Her bound and battered body was found three days later, having been dumped in the Osanippa Creek in Chambers County, according to officials.
Eldridge’s family had met with Jones after the Chambers County dismissal. They urged the District Attorney to seek murder charges in Muscogee County.
Eldridge’s body was discovered in Chambers County, Ala. but she is believed to have been abducted from her Columbus home.