Zachary Gross, 31, was dating Kentucky native Marilyn Stanley, 25, but she ended their relationship because he started abusing her physically. After the breakup, she claimed, he became obsessed with her and even applied for a job at the same book warehouse where she was employed.
In an effort to calm him down, she consented to meet him one final time at his home to discuss things. But instead, he lost control and beat her ruthlessly for two hours out of a jealous rage. Furthermore, Gross ordered his pit bull, Capone, to attack Stanley, which led to the canine biting off a sizable portion of the woman’s right ear.
He then severed her scalp from the bone up using a pink folding knife that she had brought with her as protection. As he dropped her off on the street after driving her past her mother’s house, he placed the bloody piece of skin and hair in a plastic bag and gave it to her.
Prosecutors claim that when Gross saw a picture of Stanley and her son in a park that another man had posted on Facebook, he flew into a jealous rage and carried out the attack.
He asked for a kiss before letting her go, and told her that no one would ever want her again with her bald skull.
She was rushed to the hospital after Marilyn’s mother called an ambulance, where she underwent immediate surgery. She had multiple rib fractures as well as fractures in her face and a severed artery in her scalp that was pumping blood.
When the doctor informed her that her scalp had been severed and that her hair would never grow back, she was horrified. She claimed that she felt as though she were in a horror film and that Zachary wanted her to always have a reminder of what he had done to her.
Zachary is Arrested
After being detained, Zachary was charged with kidnapping, assault, and cruelty to animals. He entered a not guilty plea and stated that his dog Capone was to blame for the injuries and that Marilyn had attacked him first. Additionally, he claimed that Capone had bit off her ear and that by giving her the bag containing her scalp, he was attempting to assist her.
Gross persisted in claiming that Marilyn Stanley’s injuries were the fault of his dog, “Capone.”
Gross told Judge Rick Brueggemann, “For her injuries — I feel horrible for what happened.” “I don’t feel guilty. I continue to be innocent. What is, is what is. I’m not pleading with you to be kind. Just hand me the twenty. I don’t require instruction.
The jury, however, did not believe him and found him guilty on all charges. He was given a 21-year prison term with a minimum 17-year parole prohibition. His son, who was 4 years old at the time of the assault, was also taken from him.
According to her statements, Stanley underwent six surgeries and suffered permanent nerve damage. Trauma surgeon testimony at Gross’ trial confirmed that the cuts on her head were consistent with the use of a sharp knife.
Marilyn expressed her relief that he was in jail and that justice had been done. She claimed that despite her efforts to move on with her life, she still experiences depression, flashbacks, and nightmares. She has had numerous reconstructive surgeries to repair her ear and face, and she wears a wig to conceal her scars.
She stated that she wants to share her experience in order to bring attention to domestic violence and encourage other victims to come forward. She expressed the hope that by sharing her experience, she would be able to stop other women from going through what she did.