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A military court sentenced a 22-year-old Fort Bragg soldier...

FAYETTEVILLE, N. C. -- A military court sentenced a 22-year-old Fort Bragg soldier to death Tuesday for the murder and rape of two young women at the North Carolina military post.

The court imposed the sentence on Specialist 4th Class Ronald Adrin Gray of Cochran, Ga., a cook assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division.

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Gray was reduced in rank to private and ordered sent to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for carrying out of the death sentence.

The sentence was recommended to the court by a jury of three enlisted men and three officers who deliberated for about three hours Tuesday morning.

The same jury convicted Gray last Thursday of murdering and raping Army Pvt. Laura Lee Vickery Clay, 18, in December 1986 and Fayetteville cab driver Kimberly Ann Ruggles, 24, in January 1987.

Army prosecutors called Gray a cold and calculating killer and asked the military court to impose the death penalty in the case.

Gray was convicted of raping and sodomizing the two young women before killing them. Clay was shot to death and Ruggles was stabbed to death.

Gray was already under eight life sentences for rape and murder imposed by the Cumberland County Superior Court on Nov. 6, 1987.

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The last death sentence issued by a U.S. military court came in 1987 when a Marine was convicted of murder. The last military death sentence carried out was the hanging a hanging at Fort Leavenworth in 1961.

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