COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Stacey Gray has been booked into the Muscogee County Jail on warrants for rape and false imprisonment, after being extradited from Alabama.
According to jail records, Gray, age 51, was booked into the jail on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
Gray was previously being held in the Chambers County Jail on charges of murder, rape, and sodomy in connection to the murder of Renee Eldridge.
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.
Charges against Gray in the Eldridge case were dismissed in Chambers County on June 1, 2021, just as jury selection in Gray’s murder trial was scheduled to begin. The dismissal came after a Chambers County ruling that excluded DNA evidence found on Eldridge’s body from being presented during the trial.
According to an order from Circuit Court Judge Steven Perryman, the prosecutor’s failure to provide Gray’s defense lawyer with discovery in the form of DNA evidence in the case lead to the dismissal of charges against him. In February 2017, Gray’s lawyer “requested production of DNA testing” –which the prosecution never provided. In January 2021, the court ordered prosecution in the case to comply with the order within ten days.
The order excluding the DNA evidence reads in part:
“In lieu of the court granting the Motion in Limine, the court on January 14, 2021, ordered the State of Alabama to deliver to counsel for Stacey Gray (erroneously called Stacy Gray in the indictment) the requested DNA data within ten days from the date of the order. The order further provided that the State of Alabama would be prohibited from utilizing in any way DNA evidence in the trial if it failed to comply. The State willingly violated this order and to this day, some one hundred and thirty days later has failed to comply.“
The charges for the rape and false imprisonment of Eldridge in Muscogee County against Gray are from an incident in December 2014, seven months prior to Eldridge’s murder, according to officials.
Right now, Muscogee County District Attorney Mark Jones and Russell County District Attorney Kenneth Davis tell WRBL News 3 they are looking into ways to prosecute Gray in connection to the murder of Eldridge.