Leesa Gray’s best friend: “I want to be there for her”

Lisa Darracott says justice is finally being served after 22 years

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Family and friends of Leesa Gray said they have waited a long time for justice.

Lisa Darracott vividly remembers her first day of Kindergarten, when she met Leesa Gray.

“I remember clinging to my mom, not wanting her to leave and she kind of drug me over to this other girl and said, ‘look, there’s another little girl who has the same name as you’,” Darracott said.

Darracott said from that point on, the two girls, with the same first name, were inseparable, going on each other’s family vacations, hanging out with friends at school and church, and even taking their senior photos together.

“She was a good person, a great friend, she loved everybody, was nice to everybody,” she said.

Darracott was joined by Nikki Farris who is married to Leesa’s uncle. We met at Bethel Baptist Church, the church in the Dorsey community, where the two girls attended. In fact, Darracott told the story of a day before a service, when she and her friend were listening to music that wouldn’t have made the church’s playlist.

“I came to church with her, because I didn’t have a large youth group, so I would come to church with Leesa and we would sit in the car before church and we would listen to Spice Girls, but we couldn’t let anybody know we listened to Spice Girls because that wasn’t cool,” Darracott said.

Farris is good friends with Leesa’s mother, Wanda, and said the family is amazed and humbled at the show of support through the years and especially in the last few months. In fact, people are encouraged to wear purple, and some are wearing purple ribbons, in honor of Leesa. Farris plans to be at a candlelight vigil at the church as the sentence for Leesa’s killer is carried out.

“Two weeks ago I went with Wanda, and I was praying and praying hard, and it’s hard to say, I was praying for something that is very cold, but then again, we need to have peace for Leesa, Leesa needs closure and so does family and friends,” Farris said.

Darracott will witness the execution and said she is doing it for her best friend.

“As close as we were, we shared everything together, he took that away, but I wanted to be as close as I can to what’s happening. I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s over, I want to be there for her,” Darracott said.

Leesa Marie Gray’s killer has been on death row longer than she was alive.  And while it has been a tough 22 years, family and friends of Leesa say they’re glad their prayers for justice are finally being answered.

Leesa’s friends and family also encourage females to be extra cautious and aware of their surroundings at all times.

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