The Duncan Banner

September 12, 2013

Ray competent to stand trial for murder

Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — A judge on Thursday declared 16-year-old Michael Anthony Ray competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 14-year-old Alyssa Wyles of Duncan this past June.

Stevens County Special District Judge Jerry Herberger said a psychologist at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita found Ray was able to understand the charges against, help in his own defense and was not undergoing treatment for mental disorders.

The ruling means court proceeding can resume and Herberger set a preliminary hearing on Oct. 7 to determine if Ray should be bound over for trial. He is charged as an adult and could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling bars anyone under age 18 at the time a crime was committed from being sentenced to death.

Proceedings had been on hold until Ray’s competency was determined. Although Herberger read yes or no answers to some basic questions to determine competency, the report will remain sealed.

Ray’s attorney, Jim Berry of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, asked that the report remain sealed and Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks did not object.

Ray is accused of killing Wiles at her home in Duncan on June 10.

A 14-year-old boy accused of being a lookout that day told police Ray went to Wiles’ house because he was upset with her for breaking up with him. Ray allegedly kicked in the back door and stabbed Wiles in her bedroom. She was found later that day by her father.

The 14-year-old boy is charged as a juvenile with accessory to murder.

Ray, dressed in orange jail garb and cuffed at the hands and the ankles, said nothing during the hearing. Three Stephens County sheriff’s deputies and a detention officer from the county jail were in the courtroom during the hearing, one officer standing just behind Ray at the defense table.

Some of Alyssa’s family members attended the hearing and met privately with Hicks afterwards.