A man accused of scalping his girlfriend before ordering his pitbull to attack her has been found guilty of first-degree assault.
In less than two hours of deliberations at the Boone County Circuit courthouse, a jury found Zachary Gross of Deer Trace, Kentucky, guilty of the assault that left Marilyn Stanley with more than half of her scalp removed and her ear ripped apart.
The September 2015 attack was prompted by a Facebook post Gross had seen of his girlfriend and her son on another man’s Facebook page. According to a report in Cincinnati.com, the prosecuting attorney claimed that Gross took a knife to his then-girlfriend’s scalp in a fit of rage and sicced his pitbull on her. The knife attack severed an artery, the attorney said, and the pitbull — named “Capone” — tore off part of Stanley’s ear. The attorney claimed Gross then mocked the severely injured woman, reportedly saying, ““You’re bald now. Who’s going to want you, now?”
Instead of calling 911, Gross reportedly drove Stanley towards her mother’s house, but dropped her off on the side of the road a distance away. The bleeding victim was able to walk to the home where family members came to her aid.
— Brad Underwood (@BUnderwoodWKRC) September 25, 2015
Gross’s attorney claimed his client was acting in self-defense, and blamed the scalp injury on the pitbull — but a trauma surgeon testified that the scalp appeared to have been removed with a knife.
Shortly after the attack, the 26-year-old victim discussed her ordeal on the Nancy Grace show on HLN. In the interview, Stanley said she was blindsided by the attack and that she feared for her and her young child’s safety if Gross were to be released from jail.
“I believe if and when he gets out of jail he’s going to kill somebody,” Stanley said.
A first-degree assault conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in Kentucky.
Featured Image: HLN Screenshot/Boone County Jail