Archive for  December 22nd 2018

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PERRY, Iowa — A Perry man avoided a possible life sentence Friday in the abuse, starvation, and death of his adopted daughter.

Instead of the original charge of murder, Marc Ray entered a plea deal that includes the chance of parole.

First responder’s found Sabrina Ray locked in her Perry home in 2017. Authorities say she was physically abused, starved and weighed 56 pounds at the time of her death. Shortly after, prosecutors charged her adoptive parents Marc and Misty Ray for murdering her. Both were put behind bars.

“She was just sitting on the shelf waiting for a proper burial,” said Dave Pillow, assistant chief at the Perry Fire Department.

There was no one to bury Sabrina, so the Perry Fire Department stepped in to help.

“Get her to her final resting place and get some closure on it because until that happens it’s just not going to happen,” Pillow said.

In the latest step to get closure, Marc Ray admitted to playing a role in Sabrina’s death.

“I failed to obtain necessary medical care to treat this physical disability. And my failure to obtain medical care caused Sabrina’s death,” Marc Ray said.

Originally, Marc Ray was charged with murder, but he accepted a plea deal.

Ray pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment causing death, and three counts of third-degree kidnapping. He will serve at least 35 years in prison.

No one from Sabrina Rays’ biological family was available for comment, but the Perry Fire Department hopes justice will be served.

Marc Ray is scheduled to be sentenced January 11th. Misty Ray is scheduled to stand trial in February.

The plea agreement also stipulates that Marc Ray will not testify against his wife, Misty Ray, who is also charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. Both charges carry a mandatory life sentence.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While negotiations continue in Congress to reach a deal to avert a partial government shutdown, there is virtually no chance a vote will happen Friday night — all but assuring there will be a partial government shutdown at midnight.

Both the US House of Representatives and the Senate has adjourned, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, says there will be no vote Friday night in the Senate.

Funding for roughly a quarter of the federal government expires at midnight, including appropriations for the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Housing and Urban Development and other parts of the government. This is the first time in 40 years that the government will have been closed three times in a year.

However, before they adjourned for the night, the Senate passed a bill to ensure federal employees who are furloughed get back pay.

It was passed by unanimous consent but still will need to pass the House.

The measure was brought up by Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, who represent Maryland where many DC area federal employees live.

On Friday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence, budget director Mick Mulvaney and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, all arrived on Capitol Hill, where they remained into the evening. Shortly thereafter, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker said on the Senate floor that an “understanding has been reached” that the Senate will not take any further votes related to the funding issue “until a global agreement has been reached between the President” and congressional leaders. The procedural maneuver helps streamline the legislative process once a deal is reached, but no such deal had appeared publicly by the time Congress left for the night.

The legislation that seemed all but certain to succeed earlier in the week was derailed on Thursday when Trump said he would not sign the bill that had passed in the Senate.

The House on Thursday passed legislation that included Trump’s request for $5 billion for a border wall, but it was clear on Friday that that demand did not have the votes needed to pass in the Senate, and was therefore not brought up for a vote — creating more uncertainty on a path forward.

Trump earlier in the day predicted the government would shut down — and looked to place the blame on Democrats.

“The chances are probably very good” that there is a shutdown, Trump told reporters Friday afternoon while at a White House signing ceremony for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation.

“It’s really the Democrat shutdown, because we’ve done our thing,” Trump continued. “Now it’s up to the Democrats as to whether we have a shutdown tonight. I hope we don’t, but we’re totally prepared for a very long shutdown.”

Friday night, as he appeared to be leaving for the evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “constructive talks are underway.”

When McConnell was asked if he would be coming back to participate in the talks, he said, “as I’ve said repeatedly, we need Democratic votes and presidential signature.”