Posted: Jan 8, 2006 3:15 am
By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer
33 minutes ago
2 Charged in Slaughter of 2 Va. Families
RICHMOND, Va. - Two men were captured Saturday and charged in the brutal killings of seven people from two Richmond families, slayings that police hadn't publicly tied together until now.
Police Chief Rodney Monroe said Ray Joseph Dandridge and Ricky Gavon Gray, both 28, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and auto theft after they were arrested driving a Cadillac that belonged to one of the victims.
The men were arrested in Philadelphia and have ties to the area, but Monroe would not give further details. He said neither is from Richmond.
"We believe we have put an end to what we consider seven very serious cases in this area," Monroe said at a news conference.
The bodies of Percyell Tucker, 55; Mary Baskerville, 47; and her daughter, Ashley Baskerville, 21, were found Friday bound with duct tape in their ransacked Richmond home.
It was a similar scene when the bodies of Bryan Harvey, 49; his wife, Kathryn, 39; and their two young daughters, Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4, were found in their basement, bound with tape and their throats cut New Year's Day.
The investigation into Friday's triple homicide led police to Dandridge and Gray, Monroe said. He said investigators also found evidence linking them to the four killings in the Harveys' home, but he declined to give specifics.
The two sets of vicious killings in the span of a week just after the new year cast a pall over Richmond, a city of about 200,000.
Bryan Harvey, 49, had been a fixture on the local rock music scene since the mid-'80s — most notably as guitarist and singer for the critically acclaimed duo House of Freaks, which released five albums on three labels from 1987 to 1995.
Kathryn Harvey, 39, co-owned World of Mirth, a quirky toy and novelty store in Carytown, a 12-block stretch of trendy boutiques, cafes and coffee shops just west of downtown. She was the half-sister of actor Steven Culp, who played Rex Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives."
A makeshift memorial has built up in front of World of Mirth: bouquets of flowers, flickering candles, condolences scrawled on a large poster, sealed letters addressed in children's handwriting to Stella and Ruby. Glinting in the sunshine is a pair of ruby-red slippers; Ruby liked wearing shoes to match her name.
Friends and associates describe the Harveys as an ideal family — loving, supportive, selfless, hard working and universally well-liked.
"Everything you've heard about them is true times a million," said Betty Garrett, director of the Grace and Holy Trinity Child Care Center formerly attended by both Harvey children. "They were the most phenomenal people."
John Morand, co-owner of a Richmond recording studio and Bryan Harvey's friend for 20 years, said Harvey was the antithesis of the stereotypical rock musician.
"Music was a big part of his life, but he did other things. He was a great dad. You couldn't get a more normal suburban couple," Morand said.