Gross Criminal: Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty To Scalping His Girlfriend But Tell Judge To Spare Him “The Lecture”

WCPO_Zachary_Gross_1450430175123_28605000_ver1.0_640_480Zachary Gross, 31, may be the least repentant criminals to face a judge at sentencing.  The Kentucky man interrupted the judge during his hearing and told him to spare him the “lecture.”  It was a particularly curious position for a man to take after telling his pit bull to attack his girlfriend,Marilyn Stanley — leading to her being partially scalped by the dog. The horrific attack and its equally horrific aftermath was caused by Gross anger over Facebook postings by  Stanley. If there was anyone in need of a good lecture, it would seem to be Zachary Gross.

Gross was not interested in the judge’s views of his crime. He told toldBoone County Circuit Judge Rick Brueggemann “I’m not asking for your mercy. Just give me the 20. I don’t need a lecture.”

He was sentenced him to 21 years for his disgusting attack on Marilyn Stanley, in September 2015.  Stanley had grabbed a knife in self-defense and when she refused to drop it, Gross had his pit bull attack. The dog proceeded to rip off part of her ear and scalp.  He then forced her to look in a mirror and mocked her.

Gross the dropped off Stanley at her parents with with part of her scalp in a plastic bag.


Gross did say that he felt terrible over the attack but then told the judge to get to the sentence.

Often the sentences in these hearings has already been set.  However, there are occasions where judges will move up or down the sentence in light of the statement of the defendant.  This extraordinary hearing would raise such a risk in such an increase.


65 thoughts on “Gross Criminal: Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty To Scalping His Girlfriend But Tell Judge To Spare Him “The Lecture””

  1. Marilyn, sweet girl, stay strong. And lean on your Savior Christ Jesus for healing and strength. Your assailant is the one who will have to “live with what he did”…for all of eternity, barring sincere repentance.

  2. You have some misinformation in your article. Starting with the title-he did not plead guilty. He pled not guilty took it to jury trial and was found guilty. 20 years was for assault one. 1 year for a probation violation. And 34 days for making an obscene gesture in court. I was not scalped by his dog. however the dog did bite me several times while he had me pinned on the ground. Yes it did bite my ear off. BUT the scar on my hairline is from a LINEAR cut that was done by a sharp instrument. My scalp was removed with the knife. The dog did not scalp me. He did. Also it was not my Facebook posts. It was someone else’s who had posted a picture of me and my son at a park.

    1. I know that I speak for everyone here–you have our thoughts and prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.

      I’m curious–was there ever any discussion as to charging him with attempted murder? Why just assault in the first degree?

      1. Assault one was ‘easier to prove’ and carried the same sentence regardless is what I was told. They’re both class b felonies. Different details can make them class a. A class b in ky carries 10 to 20 years. So he got the maximum. And since he is a violent offender has to serve 85 percent of that sentence before eligible for parole. A class a felony here has a sentence of 20 to life. However, life (in this state) is realky 25 years. It could’ve gone either way he is the type to want me to live with what he did. With the appearance and the fear and everything that comes with it. even though I should be dead considering my scalp was gone completely to my skull and he cut my artery in my right arm and more…I somehow managed to walk out of there on my own two feet. Another inaccurate statement is that I was dropped off at my parents. That is false. I was dropped off down the street and walked home. My mom and sister were carrying out a furniture and I caller to my sister ‘Ashley, help me’. Mom mom called 911 and told dispatch someone just walked up in her yard-she didn’t even know it was me.

        1. It is truly a miracle that you are alive today. From the description of the type of severe and life-threatening injuries inflicted upon you, I’m in awe of your strength and courage to emerge from this nightmare. A survivor, if there ever was one.

          May God contulinue to bless you and protect you throughout your life. You are an inspiration and a perfect example of the strength of the human spirit.

        2. I second Bam Bam’s sentiments.

          I am so very sorry this happened to you, and we all pray for your recovery, body and soul, and for your son and family. How are you?

          Thank you for posting the corrections to the story. You were very brave and strong to go through the court process, which must have been very hard, to ensure Gross was punished for his crime, keeping society safe from him.

    2. Very sorry to hear what happened to you Marilyn, I am glad he got a substantial sentence.

  3. That poor woman. Can you reattach someone’s scalp? All those nerves and blood vessels, and the bone was probably showing. Poor thing. She’s lucky she’s alive.

    So, his dog is also probably dead after an attack like that. I think it’s escalated beyond “dangerous dog” designation with animal control. I also suspect he’d trained it in pit fighting for it to attack on command. Most dogs would consider the girlfriend to be part of its pack, and wouldn’t suddenly go after someone they were familiar with.

    I guess from Squeaky’s comment, she’s glad he didn’t waste everyone’s time with false regret or a plea for mercy which could have put him on the street with the rest of us.

    Another thing that strikes me is the difference in sentencing guidelines. To an outsider like me, it seems so capricious sometimes. People get less time for murder. I’m glad he got sentenced to 21 years. The woman deserved justice, as well as the protection of being out of his reach until he got parole. Is Kentucky like CA, where you can be sentenced to 20 years and be out on parole in 5? And you often hear about people badly beating their spouse or girlfriend in CA and getting almost no time in jail at all. I hope this cowardly Gross does the time and gives society a break from him.

  4. Call me weird, but I kind of appreciate Gross’s directness. Refreshing in a way. At least he didn’t grovel in front of the judge and blame society and a bad upbringing for what he did.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. If you were the judge, Squeeky, I highly doubt that you would’ve found his behavior refreshing. From the comments that you have made, in the past and on various topics and articles, I’d be willing to bet that had you been the judge, and this smug, arrogant hillbilly had opened his dirty mouth to you, you would’ve ripped him a new one and added time for contempt of court. How far off is that?

  5. This is EXACTLY what cops with dogs do, 24/7 with no repercussions.
    They order their dogs to rip into and disfigure the flesh of people that have never even been convicted
    of a crime!! WTF is the difference in this story? Make him a cop and give him a dog…..

  6. Attempted murder, the crime with which he should’ve been charged, carries with it the possibility of life in prison in Kentucky, especially when serious injuries have occurred. This particular crime, and its circumstances, qualifies on all fronts. This animal skated with this sentence, and he’ll be back on the streets in no time. God help us.

    For all of those of you who, mistakenly, believe that it is one’s right and privilege to tell the judge to, essentially, stfu in his own courtroom, you have a rude awakening coming when you do so in front a judge with some b@lls. Don’t say that you weren’t forewarned.

    1. Your righteous indignation overlooks the obvious fact THIS guys does not give a shi+ about this judge, his balls, his courtroom, the lecture, the rights of the victim or anything else you can conjure up that reflects his disrespect for civil society. Get over yourself.

      1. Your ignorance overlooks the fact that this was a court of law, where your hallowed defendant doesn’t call the shots. He may be a tough mf on the streets or in prison, but he doesn’t call the shots in the courtroom. He doesn’t have the authority to tell the judge to spare him any lectures in open court. He may not care about what the judge thinks, believes or says, but he has not right, whatsoever, to insult the court. Yes, there are actual consequences–penalties–found in various criminal codes, for doing precisely what Gross did in front of that judge. Actual penalties for insulting the dignity of the court.

        If you think that I am incorrect, I suggest that you tell the next judge, before whom you stand, to spare you the lectures. Don’t call me for bond.

        1. Again with the lecture about the obvious. Gross doesn’t have the right to sic his dog on his girlfriend either BUT HE DID IT! He doesn’t get to be a soulless POS BUT HE IS! We have laws and penalties for violating those laws. He gets to dishonor this judge, his courtroom and himself until this judge or the bailiff decides to muzzle him or remove him from the court. The judge has the right to heap more penalties on Gross and apparently that is acceptable to him. Pretending that because Gross has no rights to do something DOES NOT mean he gives a $hit and that it would be better to not waste another nickle of taxpayer’s money lecturing him.

          1. How deliciously ironic that someone, who sports the symbol of the US Navy, next to his name, is so f’ng clueless as to the consequences of mouthing off to a superior. Tell me–what would happen to someone, called before the captain, of the ship, who, during an official hearing, told the captain to spare him the lecture? It wouldn’t go unnoticed, I can tell you that.

            1. He’s headed off to prison. He doesn’t care anymore. This isn’t that difficult.

            2. Why do you assume I’m clueless regarding the consequences? You seem to be so desperate to win an argument that you cannot see any other point. It’s not that Gross will have consequences for his behavior, it’s that HE DOESN’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS WHAT THE JUDGE IS TELLING HIM!!!

              Do you know what negative liberties are? Congress shall not…blah, blah, blah. How’s that whole, “they aren’t supposed to blah, blah, blah” working out for us?

              All you’re doing is whining that this guy is disrespecting the court. He pled guilty to his dog chewing on his girlfriend and will be going to prison for quite some time. You being appalled at his behavior or the COMMONSENSE point the judge is wasting his time won’t change anything other than the billable hours on this case.

              1. Again, you miss the point.

                There are consequences, in life, for being disrespectful to superiors. While you, obviously don’t get the inappriateness of doing so in a courtroom, I assumed, from your Navy symbol, that you may have perhaps, spent some time in the Navy and that you would comprehend the negative consequences which one would face for telling a superior to spare you the lectures. Yes, those consequences would be above and beyond the consequences for the underlying charges, for which you were being admonished. It’s not about winning an argument; it’s about making a comparison to which you, as a supposed fan of the Navy, could relate. Obviously, not.

                Either you are totally thick, and incapable of comprehending what I am saying, or you, yourself, spent some quality time in the brig for opening your trap to a superior. If it’s the later, it explains why you are so resentful of my viewpoint.

                1. “Either you are totally thick, and incapable of comprehending what I am saying, or you, yourself, spent some quality time in the brig for opening your trap to a superior. If it’s the later, it explains why you are so resentful of my viewpoint.”

                  I don’t resent your viewpoint, what’s to resent about a Utopian ideal for civil society? And it’s not that I am “totally thick, and incapable of comprehending” what you are saying or that I spent time in the brig for anything. My 8 year old makes similar arguments about his 2nd 3rd grade classmates. Yup, not fair, not supposed to do that, shouldn’t do that, blah, blah, blah. Sorry son, but sometimes your classmates and defendant Gross DO NOT CARE to be lectured prior to getting the belt, a spanking, no TV, sent to the principal’s office or locked behind bars.

                  So please don’t give up on your dream that the worst among us will respect the courtroom AFTER disrespecting the very laws that brought them before the judge. I know, should that be too much to hope for, respecting the judge after pleading guilty to turning his girlfriend into a chew toy? Nah, that’s perfectly reasonable and rational. Lecture away, Gross has all the time in the world.

                  1. Gross is a lost cause. He doesn’t respect or care about the life of his girlfriend or his own life, for that matter. Whether or not he wants or wishes to HEAR the judge’s words of admonition has no bearing. No one is asking him. He doesn’t get a say in the matter. No say, at all. He doesn’t get a say in his prison sentence or get a say as to where he is housed for the next two decades. He doesn’t get a say as to whether a victim, or a victim’s loved ones, has an opportunity to speak, in open court, revealing the harm and pain caused by the defendant. He doesn’t get a chance to opt out of that. He can close his ears, ignore the words, etc., but they have a right to speak. The judge, in his own courtroom, should never, under any circumstances, be told to shut up, which is, in essence what this bum did. It’s not just wrong; it rises to the level of a crime, with penalties that accompany doing so. The mere fact that the judge decided to wimp out and let this behavior slide doesn’t make it any less egregious or actionable.

                    I’ll assume that the animal was represented by counsel, of some sort, and that a recommendation had been worked out between defendant’s counsel and the prosecutor for the plea of guilty and the twenty year sentence. Unless, and until, that plea is accepted by the judge, all bets are off. The moment that the dirt bag opened a mouth on the judge, the judge should have exercised his option of refusing to accept the accompanying recommendation and given him the max possible, which I assume is more than the twenty years. Yeah. That’s what happens to people who can’t control themselves in front of a judge. Seen it more than a few times in court.

                    1. “Gross is a lost cause. He doesn’t respect or care about the life of his girlfriend or his own life, for that matter.”

                      Congratulations! That’s a very similar conclusion my son eventually gets to. He’ll recap all the bad things other people do and then recognize life isn’t always fair.

                    2. Unlike your son, I recognize that failing to behave, under certain circumstances, will result in jail time. Totally fair and more than justified. A father, who loves his child, should be happy to instill that knowledge in his son. The sperms donor, responsible, at least partially, for the existence of Gross, never passed that along to him.

                    3. The sperms donor, responsible, at least partially, for the existence of Gross, never passed that along to him.

                      Normal range parents produce wretched offspring quite commonly. Assuming paternal delinquency is stupid.

                    4. The apple doesn’t, usually, fall far from the tree. Not always the case, but it’s a good bet that his parents weren’t Ward and June. I know, a difficult concept for you to ponder or grasp, but, nonetheless, a mostly true and correct statement.

                    5. “Unlike your son, I recognize that failing to behave, under certain circumstances, will result in jail time. Totally fair and more than justified.”

                      So now you’ve gone from assuming I’m clueless to consequences, to assuming my son is? My son may struggle with reading comprehension but you are making a great case for him to be your tutor. Go back and read my comments S L O W L Y; recognize I NEVER hinted, implied or stated Gross should not receive the consequences he so richly deserves for his crime against his girlfriend OR the disrespect inside the courtroom. Even my son could see that.

                      What I have hinted, implied and/or directly stated is that lecturing this POS won’t change the crime, time or his attitude. Two different things that for some unknown reason you’ve chosen to pretend are the same thing.

              2. Why do you assume I’m clueless regarding the consequences?

                Because that’s how he rolls.

                You seem to be so desperate to win an argument that you cannot see any other point.

                His last contribution to wisdom on these boards was to insist that a man offering a complaint to customer service over the phone was a ‘safety’ threat and worth a five or six figure sum in costs to the airline (not to mention the other passengers) to be had from dumping fuel and disrupting the schedules of an array of stakeholders so they could make an improptu landing in Los Angeles and have him hustled off by LA cops.

                1. At least I make a contribution to the thread. Your comments, which are usually so wacked out, strange and delusional, are simply good for a laugh.

          2. Why didn’t he have that right? A cop will sic his dog on you for a LOT less, (or doing nothing) and will never have to pay any legal consequences for his actions.

            It seems like there are laws for the serfs and laws for our masters….

            1. “It seems like there are laws for the serfs and laws for our masters….”

              It’s called Human Nature; read about it and then study social contract theory. Neither the cop or the civilian has the right to unjustly sic their dog on another person.

        2. He doesn’t have the authority to tell the judge to spare him any lectures in open cour

          Well, what are you going to do about it?

          1. I have no more authority, than do you, to do anything about this other than to comment on the article. You appear to comment, on multiple articles, with great abandon, knowing, full well, that you are incapable of bringing about a different result. Thatvl doesn’t seem to stifle you. Whether the defendant was daydreaming while the judge was speaking or ignoring the judge completely is irrelevant. Once Gross opened his mouth, with an inappropriate comment, he should have been admonished by the court. The court is the judge’s playpen. Period. The judge calls the shots. He speaks when he want to speak. He lectures when he wants to lecture. The defendant, regardless of his disgust and utter contempt for the system, is not permitted, BY LAW, to insult the court. Not a difficult concept, although some tenaciously cling to the mistaken belief that the defendant gets to pull the strings in front of a judge. To answer your question, while I, personally, am unable to do anything about what transpired the judge was in a position to do so. A missed opportunity.

            1. Implication of my question went over your head, I see…

              1. I can’t relate to irrational and nonsensical questions. That’s your realm.

  7. Any lecture is presumably wasted on the guy; just give him the max and send him on his way.

    1. Oh, but first the defendant must be properly awed by the sacredness of the proceedings and then duly lectured by his betters. This judge wears a robe, has a gavel and sits on high. Every defendant dreads this moment of sentencing because they know the lecture and witness statements will rock their soul loose from its demonic possession. Then they are left to shuffle off to X number years in prison with a broken and contrite heart.

      The End.

  8. I happen to agree with Gross. He did the crime, he pled guilty to the crime, no lecture was going to undue what he had done nor was it going to make what he is about to do any better. For those that waive the courtroom lecture, they should have the judges lecture piped into the cell for the first 24 hours of intake.

    1. Ever hear of something called, contempt of court? Telling a judge–to spare one the lecture–is a prime example of said contempt of court. He, basically, told the judge to stfu in his own courtroom. His comment, at the very least, was disrespectful and demeaning; he’s not talking to one of his scumbag friends in a bar. He’s speaking to the judge. Yes, this is a courtroom–not some back alley–and there needs to be a modicum of decorum deference shown when addressing the judge. Actually, I don’t fault the scumbag as much as I do the weak and complacent judge for his impotency, whereby he allowed this inappropriate retort, said, aloud, in open court, to transpire without an admonishment and consequences. What a pu$$y.

        1. Obviously, you don’t grasp the concept or you would’ve never commented that you agreed with the defendant.

  9. Just out of curiosity, I wonder who she took a pass on before starting a ‘relationship’ with this man.

  10. He pled guilty to scalping his girlfriend? That’s an odd plea and bizarre plea. He should have, instead, been pleading guilty to attempted murder, as that is what a reasonable person could have expected to occur when issuing an order for a vicious bull to attack. It was only–only–by the grace of God that the girlfriend didn’t die from her injuries–not because the dirt bag wasn’t intent on killing her. This wasn’t simply an assault; it was attempted murder.

    I would’ve tacked on additional years, as well, for contempt of court. Telling the judge to spare him the lecture should’ve been good for some more time in the penitentiary.

    It appears as though the good old boys, down in Kentucky, ain’t as tough as they used to be. Must be all the heroin and the meth softening them up. There was a time, in the not so distant past, when they’d fry a scumbag like this and not blink an eye. My, how I Iong for the good old days.

  11. I think the sentence is a little steep. Mrs. Bobbitt got a short sentence.

  12. I was a lawyer in a prior life. I was in court in Cairo, Illinois. That is in Alexander County. A judge there named Mike O’Shea was on the bench one morning and was about to sentence a client of mine for assault on a dog. My client was rudely smiling as he stood the Judge and I was there next to him at the podium. The Judge looked at him: “What time is it?” asked the Judge. The defendant looked up at the clock on the side wall, which the Judge could also see.
    “Five to Ten”, said the defendant. The Judge replied: “That’s exactly what you get.”

    My client went to prison and I went off to a bar nearby and tried to forget the experience. It’s been forty years.

    1. Oh. I saw the Judge the next day and I said to him that I wanted to thank him. I said that I too was looking at the clock and it said: Six minutes to Ten. The Judge replied that he knew that and had taken a year off for good behavior while the defendant was in the county jail.

    1. The “three hots” you mention, you mean his soon-to-be cellmates? If so, I don’t think his cot will hold up for long!

  13. I don’t know….21 years in a Kentucky prison might be worse than Gitmo. Sounds like he wanted to go in with a reputation as a bad ass.

    1. She just needs to spread the rumor that he’s no good and dropped a dime on someone. Get more bang for the buck for the time served.

  14. 21 years that’s all? This guy is a danger to every human being he comes in contact with now and upon his release. If he does the whole 20 he will be 51 years old with one hell of a prison attitude and absolutely no fear of incarceration. These are the people who should be sent to Gitmo or Devils Island never to return to society.

    1. It’s unfortunate that you are powerless to levy prison sentences. What justice and wisdom we’re all deprived of.

      1. Yea, I guess you would like to take him home and make him a better person. If you have a daughter he would probably make a wonderful son in law for you.

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