New trial denied in 31-year-old murder case

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Justin Jones

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. -  Audrey Bray, 28, and her mother, Effie York, 74, were murdered back in 1982. The pair were gunned down and their mobile home was set on fire.

"Audrey missed out on her whole life," her sister, Mary Cornwell said, adding, "All she ever wanted was a home and kids."

But the man that should have given her that life, her husband of six years, was instead the one to take it. Steven Bray, who Cornwell says her sister was in the process of divorcing, disappeared after the fire. He surfaced 13 years later after and episode of 'America's Most Wanted' aired.

He was convicted in 1998. That conviction was later overturned when the State Supreme Court ruled there were two items of evidence the judge should not have allowed the jury to hear. A second jury found Bray guilty in 2003.

Recently, Bray has again appealed to the courts, calling his latest lawyer "ineffective." On Friday, Circuit Judge Dennis Foust ruled against that motion.

"It's a load off our mind, we won't have to sit through that trial. The pictures they took, we won't have to look at those anymore," Cornwell said.

Still she admits, her family is not satisfied, "It won't ever be over until he's dead and gone. That's when it'll be over."

Bray is eligible for parole in October. Cornwell and her siblings plan on going to his hearing. She says she has already prepared a letter for the parole board, explaining why Bray, now 66, should not be released.

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