Dothan murderer has been taken off death row

Prosecutors recommend his sentence be commuted because of his mental condition.
Health McCray booking photo.
Health McCray booking photo.(Houston County Jail)
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:34 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -A judge has commuted a Dothan man’s death sentence he had faced for the murder of his girlfriend in 2005. Heath Lavon McCray will, instead, serve life without the possibility of parole.

McCray sat on death row for 15 years, convicted of stabbing Brandy Bachelder. Per evidence, he used a screwdriver to pick the door lock at her home, then removed light bulbs from their sockets so it would be dark when she arrived.

He stabbed Bachelder, a 27-year-old mother, multiple times.

A Houston County judge ordered McCray executed but, in 2013, he filed a post appeals motion that raised several issues, including his diminished mental capacity.

In a plea deal, state prosecutors urged Houston County Judge Kevin Moulton to commute McCray’s sentence, citing a Supreme Court ruling the death sentence is cruel and unusual punishment those who are intellectually disabled.

McCray, who is 51, agreed not to file additional appeals.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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