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Dominique Ray, Alabama

Dominique Ray, Alabama

February 7, 2019

Dominique (Domineque) Hakim Marcelle Ray has been executed by the state of Alabama on Thursday, February 7, 2019. He was pronounced dead shortly at 10:12 pm CST, inside the execution chamber at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. The execution was delayed for several hours due to appeals. Dominique was 42 years of age. Dominique was convicted of murdering 15-year-old Tiffany Harville on July 15, 1995, in Dallas County, Alabama. Dominique spent the last 19 years of his life on death row in Alabama.

Dominique’s parents divorced when he was in elementary school because his father was having an affair. Growing up, Dominique also witnessed his parents physically fighting, as well as other men hitting his mother. Several witnesses produced at his trial testified that Dominique was a good friend and neighbor, who was supportive and non-violent.

On July 15, 1995, Tiffany Harville was left home alone, while her mother attended a workshop. When her mother returned home the following afternoon, Tiffany was not there and had not been seen since the previous evening. Tiffany’s mother made efforts to locate her daughter, with Dominique Ray offering his assistance in locating her by posting fliers and even offering reward money.

On August 16, 1995, Tiffany’s remains were found by a farmer working in the field. Police continued to follow leads and search for suspects, eventually arresting and charging Rod Suttle at the end of 1995. However the charges against Suttle were later dismissed

On April 18, 1997, Ray, who was in custody at a local jail for an unrelated crime, revealed to investigators that he had witnessed Tiffany’s murder. Ray identified Suttle as the man who murdered Tiffany, and three female associates as complicit in the crime. Ray later picked Suttle out of a police line-up.

On August 18, 1997, Marcus Owden, after experiencing a spiritual awakening, voluntarily approached the police and implicated himself and Ray in the murder of Tiffany. Upon questioning, Ray admitted that his earlier statements had been false.

On the night of July 15, 1995, Ray and Owden picked up Tiffany. The two men had allegedly agreed to ask her for sex, and if she refused, to “take it.” Each of the men raped her, although Ray insists he only acted like he did and that he had never agreed to rape her. After raping Tiffany, they killed her. According to Owden, Ray slit her throat and then stabbed her, with himself joining in. Ray claims that Owden produced the knife and killed Tiffany, after she threatened to report the sexual assault. Ray claims he did not inflict many stab wounds.

Owden testified substantially at Ray’s trial, including the following reason for his decision to come forward about the crime: “I began to read my Bible, and I began to seek the Lord. And my heart started to hurting because of what we had did, because of what God put in my heart. And that’s what brought me forward because my heart was hurting.”

Ray was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Tiffany. In February 1999, Ray also was tried for the February 4, 1994, murder of Earnest and Reinhard Mabins, two brother ages 13 and 18, who were shot to death in their home. Owden also participated in the Mabins’ murder and confessed to the police when he told them about Tiffany’s murder. Ray received a life sentence for the murder of the two Mabins’ children. For his role in the murders Owden is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Ray’s execution was delayed due to an appeal arguing that his right to religious freedom was being violated. Ray sought to have his execution stayed, as his request to have his Muslim spiritual advisor with him in the execution chamber was denied. Since being in prison, Ray has become a devout Muslim. Ray’s execution was initially halted by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. That stay was later lifted by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Please pray for peace for the family of Tiffany Harville. Please pray for strength for the family of Dominique Ray.

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