Marc Ray, who stands accused of 14 charges related to the death of his 16-year-old, adopted daughter, Sabrina Ray, filed a motion on Thursday, March 8 to have his trial moved out of Dallas County. Court documents reveal that the change is requested due to the extensive media coverage in the Des Moines area and that “a number of potential jurors from Dallas County, Iowa have already formed or expressed an opinion as to the guilty of the defendant which disqualifies them as potential jurors.”
The document sites 111 news articles in the Des Moines area, including 24 by The Perry Chief, that mention Marc Ray and the incident. In contrast, the document states that when searching for the case on other media websites, including the Omaha World Herald, Sioux City Journal, Cedar Rapids Gazette, Quad City Times and the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, the search returned no more than seven results on each website.
As of noon on Friday, March 9, no decision on the motion had been filed in the Dallas County Courthouse.
Marc, and his wife, Misty Bousman-Ray, were arrested on May 18, 2017 after their adopted 16-year-old daughter was found deceased in the family’s home at 1708 First Avenue, which was also the home of Rays of Sunshine Daycare. Marc and Misty were allegedly in Florida on vacation at the time of Sabrina’s death.
Originally, Marc and Misty were charged with one count of child endangerment resulting in death, four counts of child endangerment resulting in serious injury and three counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependant person. On Oct. 3, Marc and Misty were additionally charged with first-degree murder and Marc was additionally charged with second- and third-degree sexual abuse.
Sabrina weighed only 56 pounds at the time of her death and the cause of death was found to be “severe malnutrition.”
The trial has been scheduled and rescheduled multiple times now. The most recent trial date of Jan. 29 was continued and has not been rescheduled.