Thursday, December 20, 2018

Gray Sentenced in ATV Case; Mayberry Asks "Why?"

Angela Gray with Attorney Gary Buckles

A Muldrow woman was sentenced today in Sequoyah County District Court in Sallisaw for the 2013 ATV crash that left a Muldrow teen with a traumatic brain injury.

After pleading no contest to a conspiracy charge last week in the case as part of a plea deal, Angela Gray was given a five-year deferred sentence by District Judge Jeff Payton. Gray was charged after a Sept. 1, 2013 ATV crash which left Christian Mayberry, 16 at the time, with a traumatic brain injury and partially paralyzed.

Michelle Keely, assistant district attorney for District 27, said the sentence carries with it a list of rules and conditions to which Gray must comply until Dec. 20, 2023.

“If she does everything she’s supposed to do by obeying all the rules and conditions of the probation, then at the end of her probation period … she can file a request to have the charge expunged off her record,” Keely said. “If at any time she breaks any of the rules and conditions, we can file to accelerate the sentencing.”

Keely said if Gray violates any of the rules and conditions of probation, the judge would then have several options available, including placing her in custody of the Department of Corrections to serve up to the maximum 10 years for the conspiracy charge.

The sentence came after emotional victims’ impact statements by JoNell Van Fleet, Christian’s grandmother; Kim Mayberry, Christian’s mother, and Christian Mayberry himself, now 21.

“I just hope some lessons have been learned,” said Van Fleet, as Gray sat stoically next to her attorney, Gary Buckles of Poteau. “I think about consequences … everybody has to answer. I choose not to hold hate in my heart.”

During her statement, Kim Mayberry relived the past five years of hospitals, therapy and suicide attempts. She asked Gray to put herself in her shoes, to imagine if these things had been done to her own son.

“Can you imagine having your child left dying on the side of the road in a ditch like some kind of trash,” Kim Mayberry said, as Gray showed no emotion or facial expressions. “After the second and third hour, he laid in that ditch while you and others were concerned about themselves. He only lived because it was God’s calling.”

Kim Mayberry said every single day, she hears her son’s prayers – and they include Gray.

“He always prays for everyone, including you and Joey,” Kim Mayberry said, her voice breaking as she looked at Gray across the courtroom. “He prays God will give him a brand new brain, perfect vision, to get his driver’s license, a car, to get a job and a girlfriend.

“Christian and my family were given a life sentence that day (of the accident). Seems to me with you, that night was an inconvenience, showing zero remorse, no apology, no remorse for any of it. You go on as if it never happened. Our life has been devastatingly changed forever. So I did forgive you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she added.

“I want to challenge you to make yourself better. You’ve been given a second chance; in my opinion, you need to take it and try,” Kim Mayberry said to Gray, who slightly nodded her head in response.

And in his statement, Christian Mayberry said he forgives Gray, too; but he also asked Gray “why.”

“Why would you leave me there for three hours before calling people to help me? How could you do such a thing to me? To anyone? Why, Angela?” Christian Mayberry questioned after being escorted into the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies, but walking on his own.

“I know many people have prayed you would die. A lot of people hope you burn in hell,” he added. “I don’t know what will happen, but I know that God has mercy, for you and for Joey and Kyle. I really pray that you find God, his will, his love. I forgive you, I do.”

Gray is accused of participating in the ATV crash on Sept. 1, 2013, south of Muldrow which left Christian Mayberry, 16 at the time, with severe brain trauma. Gray and two males, one of whom is her son, Joey Gray, were accused of covering up the crash while Mayberry laid nearby without medical help. The trial on those earlier charges ended in a mistrial when the jury could not agree on a verdict.

The Mayberry family is available to share Christian’s testimony; any pastors or churches interested in having them speak should reach them through the Pray for Mayberry Facebook page.

Keely said the conspiracy charges against Joey Gray and Kyle Brannon are still pending, at this time.

“I hope the family will be able to move on from here,” Keely added.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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