Montgomery-area man convicted of setting wife on fire

Johnnie Lee Gray III was convicted of attempted murder.
Johnnie Lee Gray III was convicted of attempted murder.(Source: Montgomery County district attorney’s office)
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 8:45 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A Montgomery County jury has convicted a man of attempted murder in what the district attorney called a “horrific” crime.

Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey announced the conviction Wednesday. Johnnie Lee Gray III is scheduled for sentencing on March 6 by Circuit Judge James Anderson. Bailey said he faces 10 to 99 years or life.

Gray, 49, remains free on bail despite the district attorney’s office’s request that he be taken into custody upon conviction.

The crime happened on Feb. 16, 2019 after Gray and his wife got into an argument at their home over marital issues, according to the district attorney. Bailey said the wife testified that Gray threatened to burn her alive.

He said the woman tried to get a bottle of rubbing alcohol out of her husband’s line of sight, but Gray grabbed another bottle of rubbing alcohol and doused her with it. The prosecutor said Gray then pulled out a lighter and set her on fire.

Bailey said the victim suffered severe burns to the entire upper half of her body and had to be hospitalized at UAB Hospital for several months. He said her injuries also resulted in other health problems that have “adversely impacted her quality of life.”

“I want to commend the victim for the strength and courage she displayed while testifying. It couldn’t have been easy for her to relive this horrific, life-altering moment or to face the man who inflicted such incomprehensible physical and psychological pain upon her,” Bailey said in a statement. “What Johnnie Gray did to his wife, someone he vowed to love and care for, was monstrous. There is no question that my Office will ask that this evil man be sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in prison.”

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