The siblings of Sabrina Ray will be allowed to testify in the upcoming trial against Marc and Misty Ray, court documents show.
The documents, filed Wednesday, Nov. 7, show a stipulation from Assistant Dallas County Attorneys, Jeannine Ritchie and Stacy Ritchie in allowing the minors H.R., M.R. and J.R. to testify outside the presence of the defendants.
The stipulation was approved by Judge Terry Rickers and signed by the prosecutors, the defendants and their attorneys.
The document went on to say that a finding from the court would be needed to protect the welfare of the minor witnesses.
“The parties agree the facts of this case along with the traumatization of the minor witness H.R. supports the Court’s finding” that such protections would be allowed under Iowa Code, the document said.
“That H.R. would suffer further traumatization if required to testify in the presence of the Defendants, and that the distress would be suffered by H.R. is more than mere nervousness, excitement, or a general reluctance to testify.”
The court document repeated the above statement for each of the minor witnesses. It then went on to add that all three will be taken outside of the courtroom for their testimony. They will be joined by the judge, prosecutor(s), defense attorneys, guardian ad litem(s) and the court reporter.
The defendants, Marc and Misty Ray, will stay in the courtroom during the testimony. They, along with the jury, will view the testimony through closed circuit camera equipment.
Marc and Misty 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 Ave., which was also the home of Rays of Sunshine Daycare.
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.
Three additional charges were filed in the Dallas County Courthouse on Wednesday, May 2. The charges include ongoing criminal conduct - unlawful activity, first degree theft and first degree fraudulent practice.
The Rays will be tried in Woodbury County on Feb. 4, 2019. Rickers granted the change of venue motion filed by Marc and Misty Ray during a hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 22.