Repeat felon gets 35-year sentence for pistol-whipping and attempting to influence witnesses

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A Macon man convicted earlier this month of influencing witnesses, aggravated assault and other charges was sentenced to prison Wednesday afternoon.

The Sentence: A judge sentenced 59-year-old Roland Linnette Ray to serve 35 years in prison. As a repeat offender, he will serve his entire prison term without the possibility of parole.

Jurors found Ray guilty June 13 of aggravated assault, reckless conduct, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and three counts of influencing witnesses following a trial in Bibb County Superior Court.

The Evidence: During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence in court showing:

  • Ray struck a man in the forehead with a handgun on April 3, 2016, during an argument on Macon’s B Street. Ray fired shots at the man as the man drove off in a car.
  • A little more than a year later, Ray offered to pay the victim money with the intent to deter him from testifying in court. He also told two witnesses their appearances in court weren’t mandatory in an attempt to keep them from testifying.
  • Ray was previously convicted of armed robbery in Bibb County in 1984, aggravated assault in Jones County in 2012, and a number of drug charges in Houston County in the 1990s.

The Quote: Speaking after the sentencing, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “The ability of witnesses to testify without fear or interference is vital to our justice system. Anyone who threatens the system the way Mr. Ray did should expect nothing but extra time to consider their mistakes.”