Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Parker Ray: The Toy Box Killer

Mixed Results

The victim, whose name was kept from the papers, took the stand to testify what Ray had done to her. She had been 22 at the time. She claimed that Ray had tied her up and kept her naked the entire time she was at his trailer. However, her memory was murky, and she wasn't able to convey very well that she'd clearly been held against her will. She had probably been drugged, but that could not be proven. Although the videotape was played for the jury and the victim insisted she would never have agreed to this kind of treatment, she was not a very good witness on her own behalf.

On July 14, the papers reported that Judge Mertz had declared a mistrial. Although the jurors had deliberated for more than eight hours, they claimed they could not come to an agreement about the twelve charges. Two of them could not find Ray guilty of criminal assault. The jurors who had voted to acquit, both in their 20s, had decided that the victim had not persuaded them that Ray had kept her there against her will. "I was not positive he was torturing her," one told a reporter for the New York Daily News. "There's a lot of people who enjoy rough sex."

When the accuser heard this news, she broke down in tears, unsure why the jury had not believed her. What would it take to convince people that she had not sought out this treatment, nor wanted it? She failed to understand.

Ray showed no visible reaction, but Rein thought it was a sign that the jury had paid attention to the evidence, or lack of it. Ray would be tried again, which meant the victim would once more have to relive the ordeal.

District Attorney Ron Lopez gave a statement about his disappointment, but he may not have been surprised. From the start he knew this had been their weakest case and that the victim herself would be on trial. Young girls who were out drinking were generally viewed with disapproval. Nevertheless, Lopez and his team declared their intent to retry Ray at a later date. "It's not over yet," he said. The state of New Mexico was not letting this defendant off the hook.

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