State requests Alabama killer accused of stabbing girlfriend multiple times be taken off death row

Published 5:31 am Friday, November 12, 2021

A Dothan man who reportedly stabbed and killed his girlfriend in 2005 will likely have his death sentence commuted after the Alabama Attorney General’s Office asked a judge to change the man’s sentence to life without parole.

According to a report from Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office is asking requesting that Heath Lavon McCray’s sentence be commuted after McCray challenged his sentence by arguing that he is intellectually disabled.

McCray has been on death row for 15 years. He was convicted of stabbing Brandy Bachelder. McCray reportedly used a screwdriver to pick the door lock at her home, then removed light bulbs from their sockets so it would be dark when she arrived. He reportedly stabbed Bachelder, a 27-year-old mother, multiple times.

A judge ordered McCray executed but, in 2013, McCray filed a petition challenging his sentence on various grounds, including that he is intellectually disabled.

In a plea deal, state prosecutors urged McCray’s sentence be commuted, citing a Supreme Court ruling the death sentence is cruel and unusual punishment those who are intellectually disabled.

McCray, who is 51, has agreed not to file additional appeals.