News Details

Utah County Attorney

STEVEN GRAY

On March 28, 2013, Mr. Gray pled guilty to Aggravated Murder, Mayhem, and Desecration of a Human Body. Sentencing hearing is scheduled on May 20, 2013.

On October 26, 2012, officers in Orem were notified that Steven John Gray was at the Yakima, Washington Police Department, telling officers there that his girlfriend was dead from stab wounds in their Orem, Utah home. Orem law enforcement went to check on the home and found the deceased body of Jennifer Brackenbury lying in the bathroom. Although he initially described waking to find Ms. Brackenbury dead, Mr. Gray subsequently admitted to Yakima and Orem detectives that he had killed her. An autopsy was conducted the next day, during which the Medical Examiner's Office found that Ms. Brackenbury had suffered 42 stab wounds to her chest and abdomen. Her pubic region was stabbed an additional 25 times or more, and her vagina also suffered two knife injuries. Her throat had been cut. One of her breasts had been cut off and was found in a frying pan in the kitchen of the couple's home. Mr. Gray had then dragged the body from the living room area to the bathroom of the home, where he dumped cleaning chemicals on the body in part to prevent decay or odor. Mr. Gray partially cleaned up some of the blood and attempted to seclude the body by securing doors and windows with ropes and/or other means. Several knives were found in the home, including one that had Mr. Gray's fingerprint in blood. Some time after October 22, 2012, the defendant fled the State of Utah and drove to Washington State in Ms. Brackenbury's car, where he confessed to the crime at the police department in Yakima. After being extradited back to Utah, Mr. Gray was charged with Aggravated Murder, Object Rape, Mayhem, Desecration of a Human Body, and Obstruction of Justice. On March 28, 2013, Mr. Gray pled guilty to Aggravated Murder, Mayhem, and Desecration of a Human Body. He agreed to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; in exchange for that agreement, the State agreed to dismiss the other two charges and further agreed not to seek the death penalty. Mr. Gray is scheduled for sentencing on May 20, 2013, during which it is anticipated that the agreed sentence will be imposed.