A parole hearing will be held July 12 for Victor Wray, who is serving a life sentence for the 1995 murder of his brother-in-law Pat Reliford Jr. of Union Grove.

Mr. Reliford’s sister Martha said she and other family members will attend the hearing and fight the parole. They’ve also placed petitions in a number of businesses asking that Mr. Wray be kept locked up. But Ms. Reliford said some of their petitions have come up missing.

“We took 4,000 signatures opposing the parole last time and we would have taken more this time if these hadn’t come up missing,” she said. “I’m eat up with cancer, but I will be at that hearing if I have to crawl.”

A family dispute over an estate in Parches Cove led up the fatal shooting.

At his trial in 1996, Mr. Wray testified in tears that Mr. Reliford rushed him swinging a rusty pipe and waving a can of something. Fearing for his life, Mr. Wray said, he shot him twice in self-defense with a .38 caliber handgun.

Tim Jolley, an assistant district attorney who later served 18 years as circuit judge, presented evidence of a mace can found in Mr. Reliford’s hand but pointed out it had no fingerprints on it. A rusty pipe lay beside him, but no rust was on his hands, Mr. Jolley said.

According to testimony at the trial, Mr. Wray’s first bullet pierced Reliford’s chest, lung and heart, dropping him to the ground, but it did not kill him. As he lay, Mr. Wray’s second bullet was fired into the side of Mr. Reliford’s head, instantly killing him.

Between the two shots, his heart beat 40-50 times, pumping out half a gallon of blood, which would take 30-60 seconds, a forensic scientist testified.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Jolley produced a clock with a second hand and, in a deathly silent courtroom, ticked off 30 seconds, the shortest possible time between the shot that dropped Mr. Reliford and the one that killed him.

“That was not self-defense,” Mr. Jolley said after the clock ticked off 30 seconds. “It was murder.”

Anyone who would like to sign the petition can call Ms. Reliford at 256-582-7073.

“Three sisters will be going to the hearing, along with Pat’s daughter,” she said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.