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Man pleads guilty in brutal murder of girlfriend

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - Apr 1st, 2013 @ 2:56pm

PROVO — An Orem man accused of stabbing his live-in girlfriend more than 40 times has pleaded guilty in her death. 

Steven Gray, 44, entered guilty pleas Thursday to aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; mayhem, a second-degree felony; and abuse or desecration of a body, a third-degree felony, in the October slaying of his girlfriend, Jennifer Brackenbury. The body of the 44-year-old woman was found in the trailer home the couple shared in Orem.

According to charging documents filed in 4th District Court, Gray stabbed the woman multiple times before putting cleaning chemicals on the body to prevent odor or decay. He then allegedly tried to clean up the scene, moved the woman's body to a bathroom and attempted to seal off the body by tying off doors and windows of the home. 

The scene near the trailer where Gray murdered his girlfriend.

The man then drove Brackenbury's car to Washington, where he told police he found the woman dead in the trailer, according to booking and court documents. The woman's body was found in the trailer, and Gray eventually confessed to police in Yakima, Wash., according to a police probable cause statement. 

Gray was initially facing five charges, including object rape and obstructing justice, but the charges were amended as part of the plea agreement, court records show. 

Court documents indicate that Gray has agreed to spend life in prison without the possibility of parole. His sentencing hearing has been set for May 20. 

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