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Ray Sentenced for Enabling Abuse, Murder Charge Upheld

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COMANCHE CO. Okla_ A Lawton woman who was convicted of enabling child abuse that led to the death of her son returned to court Monday to learn her sentence. 

Denise Ray also faces a murder charge in connection with the child's death, and a preliminary hearing on that case was scheduled to start Monday, too. The judge followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Ray to ten years on the enabling abuse charge. Ray's attorney then filed a motion to dismiss the murder charge, claiming double jeopardy. They said the state was offering the same evidence from Ray's trials for abuse and enabling child abuse, without adding anything new. After first hearing the motion, Judge Kenny Harris said he was inclined to grant the dismissal, but gave the state a few hours to show why the case should continue. The defense argued that the murder case had no new elements. However, during the earlier trials, no evidence was allowed to be introduced regarding the child's death. Judge Harris ruled that in the murder case, the death of the child would be considered a new element. So ultimately, after first considering the defense's dismissal and also adding it seemed unfair to have multiple trials with same evidence, he denied the motion to dismiss.

Immediately after denying the motion, Ray's attorney asked the court for a delay of her new preliminary hearing, so he could file an appeal to the court of criminal appeals. Now, that appeal must be filed within 30 days. He told the judge he wanted the appeals court to have the chance to rule before going into her preliminary hearing. The judge allowed that delay and set a date of March 3 for that preliminary hearing, depending on the outcome of the appeal.

Denise Ray's husband, Lancey Ray, has already been convicted of murder for the child's death and was sentenced to life with parole.

 

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