Fort Worth

Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison After Violent Attack on Trinity Trails Jogger

NBC 5 News/Tarrant County District Attorney's Office

A 23-year-old man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for attacking a female jogger in September 2017 and 20 years for another attack two weeks prior.

Justin Lacey Ray pled guilty this week to attempted capital murder, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault in retaliation for the Trinity Trails attack.

He pled guilty to attempted aggravated sexual assault for an attack at a dog park two weeks prior. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office said.

Trinity Trails Case
In September 2017, Ray was spotted on Trinity Trails. Witnesses told police that they first saw the man sitting on a bench and removed his clothes. He started riding his bike in circles around the female jogger, so she left the area to call police.

Half an hour later, she was jogging on the trail near the tennis courts when she saw the naked man was sitting nearby. She immediately turned around and started running the other way. She called 911. Police say the man got on his bike to chase her down. He kicked her and she told him she was calling 911. He threw her phone in the river, tackled her and began beating her. She resisted as Ray pinned her to the ground, punched and choked her, at one point telling her that he was attacking her for calling 911.

She bit Ray and escaped to a nearby neighborhood where she stopped a car that was passing by. The driver immediately called police.

“This was a heinous, completely random attack. Law enforcement and first responders involved in this case all share it was one of the most violent beatings they had ever seen someone survive,” said prosecutor Kevin Boneberg. “An entire community of strangers came together in their horror over this, to assist in the prosecution of this predator, and ensure the victim would have a chance to heal.”

Dog Park Attack
Two weeks before the Trinity Trails incident, Ray attempted to sexually assault another young woman near a Fort Worth dog park. The woman had a small knife to defend herself. Ray took it and brandished it against her.

Residents reported seeing someone matching Ray's description multiple times wearing a mask and mutilating small animals. He later admitted this to police. He was later apprehended by police after a news story reminded residents to be on the lookout for him.

When he was captured, he told police that he wanted to kill the victim on the trails.

“It was evident from the sheer brutality and sadistic nature of his actions that he was Ted Bundy in the making,” said prosecutor Paul Nguyen. “These attacks were extremely traumatizing to the victims. They were both pleased with the outcome and relieved that they would not have to relive these painful experiences by testifying at trial. That trauma and pain further extended to all of those who witnessed any part of these horrific and appalling events.”

Contact Us