State to make death penalty decision on Stacey Gray case by May

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CHAMBERS COUNTY, Ala. — At a status hearing on Thursday, it was decided that the State of Alabama has until May to decide on whether they will seek the death penalty against Stacey Gray, the man charged in the death of 25-year-old Renee Eldridge.

Eldridge was reported missing on July 4, 2015. A few days later she was found in a creek in Valley, and a few days after that, Gray was captured in Notasulga.

Eldridge’s family was in attendance at Thursday’s hearing. They say that the past two years have not been easy for them.

“The past couple of years have been a complete nightmare that we don’t think is going to be coming to an end anytime,” Eldridge’s Aunt Lisa Bryant said. “Nightmare is probably not even the best word to describe what we have been through, her mother here especially.”

Eldridge’s family is hoping that the state continues with the death penalty just as they decided to do back in September.

“We are hoping for the death penalty,” Bryant said. “We feel that he deserves the death penalty, and anything less than that is not satisfactory at all. It is injustice. He took my niece’s life. He needs to be put to death.”

Until then, the family asks that people remember Eldridge as the beautiful, young woman she was.

Gray’s next hearing is scheduled for May 11.

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