Crime

May 28, 2014

Grand jury to hear case against Rock Hill grandfather accused of double murder

Ronald Fred Gregory, 67, allegedly shot both his wife and granddaughter March 21, then tried to kill himself.

A York County grand jury is expected to consider issuing indictments this week against the Rock Hill grandfather police say shot and killed his disabled wife and their 9-year-old granddaughter.

Ronald Fred Gregory, 67, confessed to the March 21 crimes and tried to commit suicide by shooting himself twice in the chest, according to police and court documents. He survived and was arrested a week later.

Gregory was in the midst of a custody battle with the maternal grandparents of Mia Rodgers, 9, when police say he killed her and his wife, Barbara Gregory, who was confined to a wheelchair.

He also withdrew about $40,000 from banks before and after the crimes, according to police and court documents. His mental state has been questioned in court, and he has been interviewed by at least one psychiatrist.

The cases against Gregory will be presented to the grand jury on Thursday, prosecutors said. If indictments are returned, prosecutors can then set the case for trial.

The case could be a death penalty trial, because there are two victims, one of whom is younger than 10. Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett has not said whether he will seek the death penalty.

After being stripped of a court-appointed attorney because he has more than $500,000 in a retirement account and other assets, Gregory has not hired a lawyer. He has told a judge he intends to represent himself.

There is a possibility of a plea agreement that would avoid a trial and likely end with Gregory spending the rest of his life in prison, if he were to plead guilty.

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