Murderer faces 2nd life sentence in sexual assault conviction
HUNTINGTON — A convicted murderer faces a second lifetime behind prison bars after a Cabell County jury found him guilty Monday of sexually assaulting a teenage girl for more than a year after he was released from prison on parole for the murder.
Granville Ray McCloud 37, was found guilty of 21 counts of incest, sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust and third-degree sexual assault for alleged incidents that occurred from June 2014 to November 2015 involving a teenage girl.
His trial started Wednesday, Oct. 31, and, after three days of testimony, the jury started deliberations Friday before retiring after nearly three hours of discussions. The jury returned to continue deliberations Monday morning in Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred E. Ferguson’s courtroom and reached a verdict a couple hours later.
McCloud had been waiting for trial since January 2016 after the victim’s mother informed police in November 2015 her teenage daughter told her she was having a sexual relationship with the man. She had been assaulted via oral and vaginal sex in at least three of McCloud’s homes for more than a year after he was released on parole for a murder conviction.
McCloud is expected to be sentenced to serve several decades in prison for the crime at his Nov. 16 sentencing. He is also facing a life sentence if his parole is revoked for the murder charge.
Defense attorneys had objected to the quick comeback date, requesting a pre-sentence investigation be done into McCloud’s past personal and
criminal history, but Ferguson declined to move the date.
“I don’t know what you are objecting to,” he said. “He was convicted on all these charges. Do you think I’m just going to let him loose?”
McCloud’s family was emotional during the sentencing, yelling at jurors they should be ashamed of the verdict and declaring his innocence as the victim cried nearby.
During the trial, the victim’s mother said during the time the sexual abuse was taking place, the victim was doing badly in school and having a hard time fitting in with classmates. She said since the relationship has been exposed, the victim’s grades have improved and she is excelling in school.
When trying to come up with a reason of why the girl would make the allegations, McCloud told defense attorneys Gerald Henderson and Kim Carico the girl could have been upset about something and that she often acts out when she is mad.
One reason he gave was that months prior to the allegations being made, she had become upset when his grandmother had declined to write a note saying her mother resided at the grandmother’s residence so she could switch schools.
Another time she became upset when McCloud told her he planned to make a marriage proposal to his girlfriend, he testified. The girl was upset because she wanted McCloud and her mother to get married, he said.
Assistant prosecutors Kellie Neal and Sherrone Hornbuckle said the first example happened months prior to the allegations being made and if she had been mad at the marriage proposal, why hadn’t the teen made allegations against McCloud’s fiance to get her out of the picture, prosecutors asked.
Prior to this case, McCloud was released from prison in 2014 after he served 15 years for the murder of 80-year-old Juanita Tia Loretta Hughes when he was 18. Hughes was found deceased Sept. 6, 1998, while bound and gagged in her home in the 1800 block of Jackson Avenue in Huntington. A parole hold is currently active in that case.
Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.