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Minn. trooper who had gun held to his head: She 'tried to take everything away from me'

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Melody Gray stands with her attorney JoyAnna Mickels for sentencing Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Clay County District Court, Moorhead, for the March 5 attempted murder of a Minnesota trooper. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor 2 / 2

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Before 31-year-old Melody Gray was sentenced on Monday, Feb. 25, to serve 19 years in prison, the Minnesota state patrolman she attempted to shoot on Interstate 94 just east of Moorhead shared how that moment nearly a year ago changed his life.

“Without hesitation, Melody Gray tried to take everything away from me,” Mark Peterson said in a statement about the March 5, 2018, check of a stranded vehicle that quickly turned aggressive. “I do not think Melody Gray has any remorse for her actions."

Peterson said through Clay County prosecutor Pamela Foss that his children later told him “how hard life would be without” him in their lives.

Peterson’s wife also addressed the Clay County courtroom in a statement, writing how she and her husband now have a “new and refreshed appreciation of life” following the incident.

“Mark’s life was spared that fateful day, and we continue to dream of our future together,” she said.

A courtroom full of Minnesota State Patrol troopers, police officers, lawyers and other law enforcement officials listened patiently as Gray was sentenced Monday by Judge Tammy Merkins on one felony count of first-degree attempted murder and one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Gray pleaded guilty to both counts in January. A third count of receiving stolen property was dismissed. She was given credit for 358 days already spent in jail.

According to court documents and information provided at court hearings:

Gray and a companion, Domonique Crayton, 29, were in a car that slid into the median of I-94 near Moorhead on the night of March 5, and trooper Peterson arrived to assist.

Peterson soon learned the vehicle had been reported stolen in Wisconsin and asked Crayton to get out of the car. Peterson attempted to cuff Crayton, when Gray pointed a handgun at his head and attempted to fire it.

The gun did not fire and as Gray tried to manipulate the firearm, Peterson fired his gun at Gray and hit her in the right arm.

Crayton and Gray were arrested at the scene of the shooting, and Crayton was later extradited to Wisconsin on a warrant.

Given a chance to speak in court Monday, Gray remained quiet like she had throughout the hearing and allowed her attorney, JoyAnna Mickles, to read a written statement in which Gray expressed remorse and guilt for her actions.

In the statement, Gray said she believes everything happens for a reason, and she will try to use her time in prison to improve herself.

“From the bottom of the depths of my soul, I’m sincerely sorry,” Gray said in the statement.

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