The Rayna Ross Stalking Case

February 1994, downloaded from the GUN-TALK BBS, a service of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, Washington, DC 20036:


by Tom Wyld

Fairfax, Virginia -- Within days of purchasing a handgun for self-protection, Marine Lance Corporal Rayna Ross had to use it to defend herself. Now, within days of a federal waiting period taking effect that could cost the lives of other crime victims like Ross, the U.S. Marine Corps will hold a hearing to determine if her lawful act was a criminal act.

"The government has hounded this woman long enough," said Michael Patrick Murray, retired Marine Corps Colonel, counsel with the National Rifle Association of America, and individual counsel for the Marine Lance Corporal. "In her suburban Virginia home, Rayna Ross faced deadly attack June 29, 1993, from a stalker who had attacked her repeatedly. The commonwealth attorney investigated and found a clear-cut case of justifiable homicide. Months after the unfortunate incident, while Ross was on leave in her Arkadelphia, Arkansas, hometown awaiting discharge last year, the Marine Corps recalled her to Quantico. For weeks, she was either stalked, attacked, or in hiding. Now she faces a murder charge -- a preposterous insult to a victim of violent crime -- to a mother repeatedly victimized."

Ross faces an Article 32 hearing (analogous to a Grand Jury) in Quantico, Virginia, Thursday, February 17. She is presently charged with First Degree Murder. Such hearings are customarily open to the public.

"The right of self-defense is under attack," said Mrs. Tanya Metaksa of Springfield, Virginia, newly appointed chief lobbyist of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). "The federal waiting period was sold as worthwhile if it saved just one innocent life. In Lance Corporal Ross's case, it would have cost at least one innocent life. Self-defense is threatened by such schemes. And self-defense is degraded and human lives cheapened when the government targets crime victims, not crime perpetrators.

"In fact and in law, the right to defend yourself against deadly attack is fundamental. But if you think that right's a given, you're being taken."

After several weeks of a nightmare of harassment and armed assaults by Anthony Goree, another Marine, LCPL Ross purchased a semiautomatic pistol for self-protection on June 26th, 1993. For the sake of her child, she had decided to stop running, stop hiding in the homes of friends and neighbors, and return to her Woodbridge, Virginia, apartment. It happened her first night home. At 3 A.M. June 29th, Goree broke into her apartment by literally dismantling a door and went after Ross with a knife. "She defended her life and that of her infant daughter -- a clear-cut case of justifiable homicide," Murray said.

"After being stalked, harassed, beaten, attacked and held against her will, LCPL Ross did the right thing," commented appointed counsel Evan Roberts, Captain, U.S.M.C. "She pressed charges. Her assailant was arrested and confined to the brig June 15 after his armed assault of Ross in her battalion office. On June 21st, based on the recommendations of a reviewing officer, Goree was released from the brig and placed on base restriction. Almost immediately, he absented himself from the base. Despite orders to avoid all contact with Ross, he continued to stalk and harass her. Declared an absentee, Goree pursued her. Despite the best efforts of the Marine Corps and the Prince William County police, he was not found -- until his final attack on LCPL Ross June 29th."

Ross's case is backed by the NRA Firearms Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund.