Rome woman pleads in murder
Delaney Scott Ray is the last of three defendants to be sentenced in the 2015 shooting of Cristobal Becerras-Contreras.
The last of three defendants accused of murdering Cristobal Becerras-Contreras pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Wednesday in Floyd County Superior Court and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Delaney Scott Ray was accused of helping to set up Becerras-Contreras for the robbery in which he was killed on Dec. 21, 2015, at 9B Wood Creek Way in Rome. She and Kelesha Dorsey testified at the trial of shooter Kyle Anthony Strother, who is serving life without parole at Coastal State Prison in Savannah.
Ray pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a reduced charged of voluntary manslaughter, as well as armed robbery and aggravated battery. Dorsey pleaded to the same charges in April and was sent to Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville, south of Macon.
Judge Bryant Durham sentenced Ray to 20 years on the manslaughter charge and 15 years for the robbery, to be served concurrently. She’ll be eligible for parole after 15 years. Durham added 20 years’ probation for the
battery charge. It will begin after her release from prison.
“Thank you, I appreciate it,” Ray whispered to her attorney before being led from the stand in handcuffs.
Dorsey received the same sentences for manslaughter and battery but got just 10 years on the robbery charge and will be eligible for parole after that.
Her attorney initially complained that the district attorney’s office informally promised a lesser sentence — but Assistant District Attorney Natalee Staats denied that and Durham rejected the notion as well.
On Wednesday the judge made sure Ray knew she didn’t have to accept the DA’s recommendation before he agreed to her negotiated pleas. Members of the victim’s family were in the courtroom but did not speak.
Staats said the three defendants set up a plan to rob BecerrasContreras, luring him with the promise of sexual favors from Dorsey. Ray and Dorsey lived at Ashland Park Apartments. Strother, who was Ray’s boyfriend, lived in Decatur.
On the night of the murder, Ray and Strother dropped Dorsey at a convenience store to meet the victim, then headed to the
Wood Creek Way assignation spot to lie in wait.
“They were aware Mr. Strother had a gun,” Staats said. “Instead of just stealing the money, he shot Mr. Contreras.”
All three fled, with Ray and Dorsey heading to Atlanta together.
Investigators found a piece of paper in Becerras-Contreras’ car where he had written the address of the store. They quickly traced Dorsey through security video footage and netted Ray as well. Staats said the two women initially lied to investigators before agreeing to testify against Strother. They have been in jail since Dec. 23, 2015.
Strother was arrested in April 2016 after a manhunt that included the U.S. Marshals Service.
Delaney Scott Ray
Kyle Anthony Strother