Ex-Derry mayor, accused of brandishing gun near children, seeks to have charges reduced
The lawyer for Derry borough’s former mayor, accused of brandishing a loaded gun near children, said felony aggravated assault charges filed in the case should be dismissed.
In a hearing Tuesday, defense attorney Tim Andrews argued Kevin Gross merely pointed a weapon as he attempted to intervene in a physical altercation between two juveniles in a park near his home last April. Gross quickly put away the weapon and made no threats, Andrews said.
“I believe the court should conclude this is not the type of case that is aggravated assault,” Andrews said.
Gross, 38, resigned his mayoral position a week after his arrest. Police said Gross, who lives near the park, brandished the weapon and held a 15-year-old boy at gunpoint as he sat on his knees with hands raised following a fight with another teen.
Andrews maintained that Gross only had the gun out while he questioned the teen if he had a weapon. He said Gross quickly holstered and put the gun away.
Assistant District Attorney Pete Caravello disputed the defense’s characterization of the incident.
“He put a gun so close to a juvenile victim that he could reach out and touch it,” Caravello said.
No witnesses testified during Tuesday’s brief hearing. Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Feliciani said he will review testimony from April’s preliminary hearing and ordered both Andrews and Caravello to submit written legal arguments within the next month.
Gross, who is free on $20,000 bail, is charged with 16 counts, including four each of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault and harassment.
His trial is scheduled to begin in December.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .