Crime

He claimed self-defense after stabbing his ex and her dog to death. Jurors didn’t buy it.

Surviving daughter recounts knife attack that left both her mother and her dog dead

Curtina Gray painfully recalls the night of August 6, 2012, when her mother and her dog where stabbed to death by her mother's ex-boyfriend Alphonso Jerard Lucas. Lucas was on trial for first degree murder, attempted murder and animal cruelty.
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Curtina Gray painfully recalls the night of August 6, 2012, when her mother and her dog where stabbed to death by her mother's ex-boyfriend Alphonso Jerard Lucas. Lucas was on trial for first degree murder, attempted murder and animal cruelty.

Alphonso Lucas claimed he acted in self-defense when he stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death — even though he was the one who stormed into her Miami Gardens house by breaking a glass door.

Jurors didn’t buy it.

A Miami-Dade jury late Tuesday convicted Lucas of murdering Terrilyn Gray, trying to kill her daughter and fatally stabbing their dog, who tried to intervene in the frenzied attack in August 2012. Lucas, 46, was immediately sentenced to life in prison, the automatic prison term for a first-degree murder conviction.

Lucas was also convicted of animal cruelty, armed burglary, and aggravated battery for stabbing and wounding Gray’s daughter, who tried to save her mother, escaped with her life and was the key witness at trial.

At trial, prosecutors Ray Araujo and Rachel Morales-Gellis cast Lucas as a jealous and jilted ex who refused to accept that his relationship was over. On the night of the attack, Lucas threatened Gray by phone, then broke into the house as Gray and her daughter hid in the room.

Lucas grabbed a kitchen knife and broke down the door, stabbing Gray 24 times, and wounding her daughter, Curtina Gray. He also killed Ug Mug, a boxer-pitbull mix that tried to stop Lucas in the hallway.

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Defendant Alphonso Lucas hears opening statements at his first-degree murder trial on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in the courtroom of Judge Teresa Mary Pooler. EMILY MICHOT EMICHOT@MIAMIHERALD.COM

The savage attack — including the screams of the women and the whimpers of the dying dog — was captured on a chilling 911 call played for jurors.

Lucas’ defense lawyers, Jonathan Jordan and Andre Rier, claimed that Gray hit him in the face with a hammer, knocking out several teeth. On Monday, Lucas took the stand in his own defense and claimed that he was dazed and only went inside the house to ask her why.

Jurors rejected the claim, after deliberating more than five hours on Tuesday night.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler sentenced him immediately, over the objections of his defense lawyers, who wanted to give him and his family time to prepare statements to the court.

“He looks forward to his appeal, where we believe many issues were properly preserved for a higher court to review,” Jordan said.

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