Victim Upset After Robber Strikes Again

The man arrested for the attack has a lengthy rap sheet and was recently cleared of another robbery just a few blocks away.

Guitar shop owner Morty Beckman was beaten and robbed last fall at his store on Lafayette Street. He fingered John Michael Ray as the culprit, but a jury cleared him at trial in May.

Beckman is alternately disappointed and irate now that Ray has been arrested for another brutal attack just a few blocks away.

Morty says, "He doesn't need to be on the street to be able to do that again and again, and he's demonstrated it again and again."

On Monday, Ray was arrested again for attacking a woman in the Toys-R-Us parking lot Monday, forcing her into her van and driving her and her toddler around at knifepoint until she managed to lock him out.

A check of court records shows Ray spent 16 years in state prison for robbery, murder and attempted murder. He was released last spring.

Within five months he was arrested for robbing and attacking Morty Beckman, and within two months of his acquittal and release from the Leon County Jail he was arrested again for Monday's Toys-R-Us attack.

But Beckman laments that the jury that acquitted Ray never got to hear about his violent past, and says if only it had, Ray would be in prison and that woman would never have been attacked.

Morty says, "We would just like to see a way on one level or another where this won't happen again, that somebody who has a history like that could mask it from the system, mask it from the jury, mask it from the process."

Ray will make his first court appearance on his latest carjacking, robbery and attempted murder charges Wednesday.