COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – An attorney representing Stacey Gray entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf on the 2014 charges of false imprisonment and rape of Renee Eldridge.
Gray’s attorney, Shevon Thomas, said he does not believe there is probable cause in the case. Thomas also maintains there was a relationship between Gray and Eldridge that went beyond family friendship.
“From my understanding once the victim’s mother found out about the rape she reached out to her boyfriend, which at the time was my client and he came over,” said Thomas. “Ya know the young lady did not accuse him, did not implicate him or anything. And even going back to what the detective stated that at the time he was never a subject, he was never a target until what 6 years later? So we will see where the evidence leads us.”
Detectives said Gray was Eldridge’s mother’s boyfriend at the time of the 2014 incident.
A detective in court detailed the events of that night.
The detective said Eldridge had a few drinks and got a ride home. The last person she communicated with was a soldier via text. A police report obtained by News 3 says Eldridge implicated a Fort Benning soldier for her attack.
In the report, Eldridge said on December 20, 2014, she was surprised, tied up and raped inside her home. The soldier was ruled out by DNA evidence. A male roommate was also excluded by DNA evidence.
In 2015, when Gray was arrested for her murder in Alabama, DNA evidence was collected and matched the 2014 case.
Murder, rape and sodomy charges were ultimately dropped in Chambers County, Ala. after prosecutors failed to share evidence with the defense during discovery.
After those charges were dismissed, Gray was extradited to Muscogee County and booked into the Muscogee County jail on charges of rape and false imprisonment.