Parole granted for man serving life sentence for Columbus County murder

Parole granted for man serving life sentence for Columbus County murder

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - A man who was serving a life sentence for a deadly shooting in Columbus County in 1992 has been granted parole.

William Ronald Gray, 45, was convicted in 1993 of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Reginald Anderson following an altercation at a park in Fair Bluff on Nov. 15, 1992. Gray was only 17 years old at the time of the killing.

Court documents state that prior to the shooting, a group of people including Gray were hanging out at Progressive Women’s Park for about two hours and as they were leaving, Gray and a couple of others were standing next to some cars before they left.

Joe Bullock III, who was Anderson’s cousin, told Anderson that he saw what he thought was urine on one of his car tires. Anderson called to the group and and altercation between him and Gray quickly escalated.

Gray pulled out a gun and shot Anderson in the chest, piercing his heart and right lung. Anderson was taken to Columbus County Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Gray surrendered to police an hour and a half after the deadly shooting.

The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission announced on Tuesday that Gray had been granted parole and he is eligible to be released from prison on Jan. 25, 2021.

The state’s current sentencing law, Structured Sentencing, eliminates parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. However, the commission has the responsibility of paroling offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines.

During Gray’s time in prison he has been cited for 35 infractions, including theft, disobey order, gambling, fighting, substance possession and profane language, among others.

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