Location Pickaway Correctional Institution
Offenses Aggravated Murder
Sentence Min/Max LIFE/LIFE
Date Admitted 08/08/2001
Next Eligibility Hearing Date 08/30/2023
In the fall of 2006, Gray’s older brother Daniel was a court-appointed guardian of the elderly father. Gray resented this fact and it had caused tension between the two. As part of his duties as guardian, Daniel arranged the sale of their father’s property and items on the property. A few days before the murder, one of his sisters called Gray and left him a message on his answering machine that Daniel had also sold a crane belonging to Gray that had been stored on adjacent lot. When Gray, who lived in the Columbus area, heard the message he got in his car and drove straight to Daniel’s house.

Daniel was at home with his girlfriend Adrian Evans. Around 2200hrs, Adrian was getting ready for bed, and Daniel was doing laundry when there was a knock at the door. Curious about who would be visiting at that hour, Daniel looked out a bedroom window and saw that it was Gray. Daniel told Adrian it was his brother and went to answer the door. Adrian had already undressed and climbed into bed.

Daniel invites him in and offers him something to drink. They sit down in the living room to discuss the sale of the property and the discussion starts to get heated. The argument escalates to shouting and Daniel tells Gray to leave. Daniel turns and begins walking toward the bedroom. Adrian hears footsteps in the hallway. Then she hears gunshots. Clad in only her underwear, Adrian rolled out of the bed and started crawling under it for protection.

It is unclear how many shots Gray fired at Daniel in that initial volley, but one passed cleanly through his leg and lodged in the wall. Another shot went through Daniel’s wrist as he reached for the bedroom door, the bullet lodging in the door jamb. A third shot missed, and the bullet lodge in a wall at the end of the hall. Daniel collapsed to the ground, half in the bedroom, and half in the hallway. That’s when Gray noticed Adrian trying to hide under the bed.

Gray grabbed her and dragged her out from under the bed. He put the barrel of his gun against her back and forced her from the room. When she looked down at her injured boyfriend, Daniel pleaded with her that he was hurt and needed help. In the living room, Gray ordered Adrian to lie down on the floor and threatened to kill her if she moved. He then walked back to the hallway, stood over his wounded brother and fired two more shots into him at point blank range. He walked back Adrian, told her to stay on the floor and again threatened to kill her if she moved. When Gray went back to finish emptying his revolver into his brother’s body, Adrian ran from the house in her underwear.

One of the shots Gray fired as he stood over his wounded brother entered Daniel’s right bicep, traveled through his chest cavity, went directly through his heart, before coming to rest on the left side of his chest. That was ultimately the fatal shot. One of the other shots entered through Daniel’s lower back, lacerated his kidney and lodged in his spine. The final shot entered just below his should and exited through his right pectoral muscle.

When he was interviewed by police, Gray said that Daniel was the one who became angry and started shouting at him. He claimed that he didn’t mean to shoot him, but Daniel shoved him while his hand was on the revolver in his pocket. When he stumbled backward his hand came out of his pocket and the gun somehow went off. He claimed he only fired once, and had no explanation for the other five projectiles found at the scene and in his brother’s body. When police recovered the murder weapon it had six spent shell casings in its cylinder.

Gray was charged with Aggravated Murder and Kidnapping. During his trial, when Adrian testified as to what happened, he erupted with anger, throwing over a table and screaming at her. Adrian was visibly shaken by his actions and the trial judge had him removed from the courtroom for the remainder of her testimony. He was then allowed back into the courtroom. The jury found him guilty of both charges and Gray was sentenced to 23 years to Life on the Aggravated Murder charge, run consecutively to 10 years on the Kidnapping charge, for an aggregate sentence of 33 years to Life. On appeal, Gray complained his right to be present during the trial was violated, but the First District Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed his convictions. The Ohio Supreme Court declined to accept his case, but a federal court intervened and overturned his Kidnapping conviction.

By the actions of the federal court, Gray has already received a 10 year reduction in his sentence. Even still, he has only just barely served the minimum of that reduced sentence. For the cold blooded murder of his own brother, Gray deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison and to release him after only serving the minimum sentence would be an insult to Daniel’s memory. The Hamilton County Prosecutors Office strongly opposes early release for Matthew Gray.

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