East Tennessee Couple Pleads Not Guilty to Dozens of Charges Including Murder and Abuse of Adopted Children

An East Tennessee couple pleads not guilty to dozens of charges including murder and abuse involving children they had adopted.

63 year-old Michael Gray Sr. and 60 year-old Shirley Gray were in court today (Monday) on charges from a 42-count indictment handed down last week by a Roane County grand jury.

The charges involve the death of a girl, whose remains were found on the property, and other children the couple had adopted.

The couple was arrested in May.  Michael Gray told authorities that the girl was about 10 when she died in 2017, a few months after she was locked in the basement, and that he buried her inside a barn in the backyard. Two other children spent time in a wire dog cage, while all were supposedly homeschooled and appeared to be “stunted in growth,” according to arrest warrants.

The couple is also facing a theft charge. Authorities say they didn’t report the girl’s death and kept receiving state benefits.

The Roane County case led authorities to search a Knox County property where the couple lived previously and court records show the remains of a second child were found.

The Knox County case is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.

The Grays are due in court again in December.

Photo courtesy of WVLT

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