An Indianapolis man received a nearly maximum sentence for murder for his role in the severe beating of a Center Grove area man.
Zachary Ray, 26, had been released from prison about two weeks before he beat and robbed Michael Campbell on April 10, 2013, outside the Colonial Inn Bar, located just north of Interstate 465 on Madison Avenue. Police said Ray and another man ambushed Campbell and hit him in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. While on the ground, Ray kicked Campbell and fished through his pockets, stealing his wallet and phone, according to a police report.
Ray was sentenced this week in Marion County to 63 years in prison, all of which will be served behind bars. That sentence is just shy of the 65-year maximum for murder.
A jury found Ray guilty of murder and robbery at a trial last month. Ray also has a substantial criminal history, including recent convictions for violent crimes.
He was convicted of battery resulting in serious bodily injury in Hendricks County in September 2011 and sentenced to nearly four years in prison. But he was released on March 25, 2013, after serving less than two years of his sentence due to good behavior and other credit time he was able to earn. The attack on Campbell happened 16 days after Ray’s release from prison.
After the April 2013 incident, Ray was convicted of two other charges in Marion County, including a one-year prison sentence for theft and a 15-year sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He also had earlier convictions for battery and intimidation.
Ray’s attorney, Michelle Wall, did not return messages this week.
Police said Ray and the two others were working together to try to rob patrons of the Colonial Inn Bar, located near the University of Indianapolis. A woman, Lori McKinney, chatted up people inside the bar, attempting to get them to come outside with her so Ray and another man, Richard Mays, could attack them, police said.
McKinney came outside with one man after agreeing to have sex with him, but the man spotted Ray and Mays lying in the bed of her pickup truck and went back inside. Staff at the bar told police McKinney then began talking with Campbell about a job and he was buying her drinks. He told a bartender he was going to another nearby bar with McKinney and would be back soon, but he didn’t return.
Police said Mays and Ray beat Campbell and left him unconscious on the ground behind the bar. He was discovered by a University of Indianapolis Police Department officer.
Mays has been charged with murder and robbery, and McKinney faces a charge of robbery. Cases for both Mays and McKinney are ongoing.
Campbell had two black eyes and a broken jaw and was in a coma when he was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. He remained in critical condition and died May 13, 2013.
Police arrested McKinney shortly after Campbell’s death. Ray was arrested in June 2013 on separate charges in Marion County. He was questioned by police and told investigators that he saw Mays beat and rob Campbell that night while he was sitting in McKinney’s truck, according to court documents.