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.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner Staff Writer DWag­

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

Ke­le­sha Dorsey

Kyle An­thony Strother

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