The biological family of Sabrina Ray sat in the courtroom as Misty Bousman Ray pleaded guilty to three felony charges during a hearing on Jan. 9.
At one point, Sabrina’s biological aunt, Nicole Bond, closed her eyes and held hands with another family member.
Bousman Ray, the adopted mother of Sabrina, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping in the first degree, a Class A felony, and two counts of kidnapping in the third degree, both Class C felonies.
Kidnapping in the first degree carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. As for the two counts of kidnapping in the third degree, they carry sentences not to exceed 10 years in prison.
“I would like to say thanks to the community for everything that they’ve done,” Bond said. “I hope that this also gives them some kind of closure.”
A big part of the closure for the family, she said, came from being able to hold a celebration of life service for Sabrina in September of 2018.
More closure will come as Bousman Ray is sentenced at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Dallas County Courthouse. Judge Terry Rickers said both parties agreed to a joint sentencing date for Bousman Ray and her husband, Marc Ray.
Marc Ray, adoptive father of Sabrina Ray, pleaded guilty to four felony counts during a plea hearing on Friday, Dec. 21. Those counts included child endangerment resulting in death, a Class B felony, and three counts of kidnapping in the third degree, all Class C felonies.
The count of child endangerment resulting in death is a forcible felony with a sentence of up to 50 years.
First Assistant Dallas County Attorney Jeannine Ritchie said there is a mandatory minimum sentence of between 30 to 70 percent of time served before the defendant would be eligible for parole. Under the plea agreement, she asked the court to order Ray to serve 70 percent, or 35 years, before being eligible for parole.
While Bond wished the Rays weren’t being sentenced together, she hopes Marc Ray will receive the maximum sentence. The maximum sentence for all four counts is 80 years.
The maximum sentence Bousman Ray can receive on Jan. 18 is life plus 20 years.
During the plea hearing, she admitted to confining Sabrina Ray during the times of Jan. 31, 2012 to May 12, 2017.
“I intentionally acted to secretly and unreasonably confine Sabrina Ray without her consent and having no authority to do so,” Bousman Ray read from a prepared statement.
She confined Sabrina by covering the bedroom windows and placing a lock on the door.
“During and as a result of that confinement on May 12, 2017, Sabrina Ray died of malnutrition, which is a serious injury,” Bousman Ray said.
She then read similar prepared statements for the two counts of kidnapping in the third degree for two minor children.
“I know that there’s probably not any justice that’s going to be good enough, ever,” Bond said. “But more than anything, instead of looking at the negative, we have to look at the positive and know that at least she did get life.”
Misty and Marc Ray are the latest family members to plead guilty related to charges connected to the death of 16-year-old Sabrina Ray. Sabrina was found deceased in the family’s home on May 12, 2017 at 1708 First Ave., which was also the home of Rays of Sunshine Daycare. She weighed only 56 pounds at the time of her death.
Justin Ray, brother to Sabrina, pleaded guilty to two counts of willful injury causing bodily injury, a Class D felony, in February. He was sentenced to serve two five year terms consecutively, which will not exceed 10 years total.
Sabrina’s adoptive grandmother, Carla Raye Bousman, was sentenced to a prison sentence not to exceed 20 years during a plea hearing on April 6. She pleaded guilty to one count of neglect to a dependant person, a Class C felony, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of accessory after the fact, one count of obstruction of prosecution and two counts of child endangerment.
Josie Bousman, Sabrina’s cousin, was set to go to trial in March, but court records show it was continued until further notice.
Keep watching www.theperrychief.com for more from the sentencing hearing on Jan. 18.