Lawton, OKla_A heated battle between lawyers in a Comanche County courtroom led to the postponement of a woman's trial in connection with the death of her son. Denise Ray was scheduled to be tried Tuesday on child abuse charges. But, after hearing intense arguments from both sides, which included an accusation from the defense of vindictiveness by the prosecution, the judge ordered the trial to be delayed until September.
The boy's stepfather, Lancey Ray, was convicted of murder in the death of 10-year-old Malik Ray last year. Denise testified against Lancey in that trial. In her testimony, she admitted she also had beaten Malik. After that trial, the state added another abuse charge. Then last week, they filed a first-degree murder charge. Her attorney argued the charge a was reaction to her refusing a plea deal and requesting a jury trial. He also claimed her right to a speedy trial had been violated and asked the judge to allow the trial to begin or dismiss the case.
Ray's attorney, Jarrod Stevenson, argued that the state has no new evidence to support the new charges and are still relying on Ray's earlier statement to police.
Prosecutor Jay Walker argued that Ray waived her right to speedy trial twice, and could have changed that by submitting a written request. He also argued that all of the continuances were for lawful purposes. Ultimately, the judge ruled in favor of the prosecution, postponing Ray's day in court once again.
As for the murder charges, Judge Gerald Neuwirth said he has no jurisdiction on that case. A judge will have to be assigned to that case. He did grant the defense's request to reduce Ray's bond on the child abuse charges, which is now $25,000.