Friday, October 15th 2004, 3:57 pm
News On 6
The jury spent two hours to decide Michael McWhirt was guilty of kidnapping a woman from Saint John's parking lot and raping her. They sent him to prison for two life terms plus 105 years.
Michael McWhirt didn't have anything to say after learning he must spend most of the rest of his life behind bars.
His family cried and his wife had to be carried out of the courtroom they have two children.
Monica Bray's family also cried but, for relief that the trial is over and a rapist is off the streets.
Her ordeal began several months ago when she went to work at Saint Johns Hospital. That's when McWhirt kidnapped her from the parking lot; duct taped her and raped her. She escaped when he stopped to get gas and she jumped out and screamed for help.
Police say as if all that wasn't enough, things only got worse when she learned the defense strategy.
First, the defense said the two were having an affair so the sex was consensual, then, they said because she went on t-v and did media interviews, she wasn't a real rape victim. From the beginning, Bray did not hide her identity, wanting others to know the shame of this crime was not hers, but, the attacker's. Detectives applaud her strength in seeing this case through.
Det Liz Eagan, Tulsa Sex Crimes Unit: "In my entire career, I have never seen somebody go through this much to testify. And, we're very proud of her and because of her, there is a predator off the streets."
Detectives hope other victims learn from Bray's courage, that despite the difficulty of the journey, it's worth it in the end to know justice has been done for her and other women.