DETROIT – Wednesday was Ray Gray’s first day as a free man after nearly 50 years behind bars.
He’s never used a cellphone, let alone a smartphone. There’s no doubt that there are a lot of things Gray is going to have to get used to.
“Well in a lot of ways, it’s been kind of hectic,” Gray said.
Gray said he’s been nonstop and on the go. He’s getting back accustomed to things just 24 hours after being released from prison.
“It feels kind of unbelievable,” Gray said.
Gray served almost 50 years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t do. In 1974, he was convicted of first degree murder in connection with the death of Ruben Bryant. Almost five decades later, he walked out of prison as a free man.
Former Journalist Bill Proctor covered the case back then. He said he knew Gray was innocent even then.
“From day one, Ray told the court, Ray told the police, Ray told everybody who would listen, ‘I am innocent.’ That’s what needs to be heard here. This business about admit to something and we’ll let you out of prison is garbage,” Proctor said. “And we’re going to fight it, because it’s not fair.”
Gray and his wife enjoyed his first day as a free man.
“Had a nice meal at Applebee’s, went home with my wife and we had a nice day together,” said Gray.
And then a much-needed haircut. “This feels good,” said Gray.
Gray said he’s glad to be out, but he’ll have to get used to his new life.
“She gave me a tablet and I was trying to figure that out. You know, what do you call it, FaceTime. That’s something new because when I left the street, the only thing about the telephone was that you can get one in a different color other than a black one,” Gray said. “So the fact that you can do everything just about besides cook a meal on the phone is amazing.”