UTV Crash Victim Asks Suspect “Why?” During Impact Statement
SALLISAW, Oklahoma - Thursday was an emotional day in court for one Green Country family.
Five years after a UTV crash left then 16-year-old Christian Mayberry with a traumatic brain injury, Christian, his mom, and grandma were able to speak directly to the woman convicted of not getting Christian the help he needed after the crash.
There were moments when it felt more like church, with folks in the courtroom responding “Amen” during some of Christian’s mom’s statement, meanwhile, the suspect had nothing to say at all.
“Ms. Gray, do you have a minute,” reporter Tess Maune asked as Angela Gray walked out of a Sequoyah County courtroom. Gray’s attorney interrupted before Gray could answer and said she has no comment.
Gray pleaded no contest to conspiracy in a case that changed Christian’s life forever.
“It’s tough. It’s been so hard on me,” Christian said.
He is now 21, living with a traumatic brain injury and a question that will likely haunt him for the rest of his years. He asked Gray that question Thursday in court during his victim impact statement.
“Why couldn’t you have just called the police when it happened,” he asked.
Christian nearly died in a UTV crash the night of September 1, 2013.
Christian went out to a party in Muldrow with a new group of friends. Angela Gray, who is the mother of one of those friends, was there that night too.
Prosecutors say Gray was driving the UTV when it crashed. She wasn’t hurt, but instead of calling for help, prosecutors say Gray, her son, and his friend cleaned up beer cans and got their story straight.
It took three hours before anyone called 911; all that time Christian lay bloody in a ditch like "a piece of like trash" his mom, Kim said.
“We received a life sentence that night,” said Kim. “But I feel like for her, it’s just been a inconvenience... just a thorn in her side.”
Kim tried to condense 5 years of what she calls “hell” into 20 pages of notes. She read through them, speaking directly to Gray for about 40 minutes in the courtroom.
Kim asked Gray to imagine having a completely dependent adult son, one who battles severe depression, anger, and thoughts of suicide, all because an adult put their own interests above a child's.
Gray’s attorney continues to say his client is innocent and says she only agreed to a plea deal to get Gray’s son’s accessory charges dismissed. Prosecutors say that could happen early next year.
“She can deny it all she wants, but everybody knows,” said Kim.
Kim told Gray she and Christian forgive her, but Gray showed no emotion.
“Come on, Angela! Just admit it for once in your life,” said Christian. “Say you're sorry. Try to change your life for the better.”
And even though Christian’s life was changed for the worse that night, he has found a reason to live.
“His purpose is touch lives and he’s been told by so many that’s what he’s doing,” Kim said.
Gray was sentenced to 5 years probation, but if she gets into any trouble in that time, she could be sent to prison for 10 years.