DUNCAN, Okla._Michael Ray, the teenager who stabbed an ex-girlfriend to death in a jealous rage, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the chance of parole.
Judge Joseph Enos handed down the harshest possible sentence after hearing emotional testimony and statements from the family of the victim, Alyssa Wiles. They let out cheers of joy and relief when the decision was handed down just after 4:00 p.m.
It was a long day for this Duncan family reliving what they say is the worst day of their lives. In addition to hearing the vicious details of how Alyssa died, they had to listen to Michael Ray's persistent and continuous lack of remorse during his time in jail. And after Ray sat stone-faced all day among those in tears, family members say justice for Alyssa was definitely served.
"No matter what the sentence would've been I don't think he would've gotten out," said Alyssa's father, Brad Wiles.
But that didn't stop supporters from celebrating a sentence that many felt Michael Ray truly deserved. District Attorney, Jason Hicks felt that the sentencing was justly awarded, "Obviously I think life without parole was warranted in this particular case and circumstances. You have a violent 16 year old; he should never be out of prison."
Statements made by the Wiles family Wednesday brought high emotion to the courtroom. Alyssa's grandmother told Judge Enos it was impossible to explain life without Alyssa in it. And Zachary Abbott, Alyssa's brother echoed that sentiment saying "there are no words for how much pain and anger I have. There is no punishment harsh enough for the death of my sister."
Even though 16-year-old Ray will never leave the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Brad Wiles says his family still has a long way to go, "This chapter will never be closed in our lives, our daughter's always going to live on in our hearts and memories. I can't say happiness, but glad it's over and we'll still never have our daughter back. So I'm glad he can sit and think about it all the days of his life, either long or short, it doesn't matter to me."
Michael Ray's family was also very emotional during testimony. Michael's mother even took the stand saying "yes, Michael did have behavioral problems growing up in school." And although she did want her son to have a parole possibility, she ultimately agreed with District Attorney Hicks that he must be held accountable for his horrific actions.
Ray will remain in the Stephens County Jail for a maximum of ten days before Sheriff Wayne McKinney will make preparations to have him transported to the state penitentiary.