Denison Murder Suspect Testifies He Was Tired During Interrogati - - No One Gets You Closer

Denison Murder Suspect Testifies He Was Tired During Interrogations

SHERMAN, TX -- A Denison man accused of killing a young disabled boy took the stand during a four-hour pre-trial hearing tonight.

He's accused of tying up and killing his girlfriend's son. Judge James Fry granted a request to call a pool of 100 jurors instead of the usual 62 because of the emotional nature of the case involving a dead child with autism.

The attorney for Robert Gray Jr., 52, said he was informed just before Wednesday's hearing that prosecutors have added new claims of violence against his client.

Along with tying up, gagging and hogtying Brandon White, 15, they now charge he also hit him and impeded his breathing.

Gray's attorney, John Hunter Smith contended the new charges need to go before a grand jury, but prosecutors Kerye Ashmore, Matt Johnson and Britton Brooks said there's no new crime, just clearer language.

The defense also objected to adding a "pillow" as a deadly weapon, along with of strips of cloth. Gray took the stand during a line of questioning where the defense appeared trying to prove that Gray's statements made on the night of the crime were coerced.

Gray testified he did not feel like he could leave the back bedroom of the house because there was an officer posted at the door, then later he felt he couldn't leave the police station because there were officers around.

Gray says he had gotten 10 hours of sleep over the prior two or three days, and that he was sick and distraught about Brandon dying.

Gray was arrested the next day near the home in the 300 block of W. Monterey last January when officers came back with a warrant.

A defense psychologist, Charles W. Keenan, testified Gray was sleep-deprived and under stress when he corrected his age to 51 from 41 on a taped interview with police. He said Gray did not have the capacity to resist making self-incriminating statements. Three Denison officers also testified about how Gray was brought in and questioned.

Gray said he'd been worried about Brandon, who'd been having seizures and coughing up blood. Prosecutors said he was stressed because he'd just committed a murder.

White's 13-year-old brother, there that night, is now living with his dad and will testify at trial. The judge accepted a motion to sever six other counts so the case will proceed on murder only. He ordered prosecutors turn over testimony from a "jailhouse snitch" by morning.