Murder suspect headed to trial

Bellefonte, Centre County, Pa. - Ardell Gross is accused of fatally shooting his uncle in Pleasant Gap.

As he moves forward with a criminal trial, a local pastor hopes to send a strong message to the community.

Police say Gross confessed to shooting Richard Smalley, 60, in his home along Whitman Ave. in Pleasant Gap on Oct. 27th.

A local pastor said the details outlined at the preliminary hearing on Wednesday are shocking for the community.

Kevin Shock, a Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, was in court to show his support.

"And I knew that this would be an emotionally charged event for them. I knew that they would probably hear some things that were going to be difficult for them to hear," Shock said.

Shock said after experiencing a tragedy in his community, it's important to show be there for neighbors and family members who are grieving.

"I think it's those hidden feelings, those feelings that we try to push down that end up resulting in anger and violence and all of the things we're trying to avoid in the wake of a situation like this," Shock said.

Police said anger is what triggered Gross to shoot Smalley twice.

And explained that Gross admitted that he and the victim had an argument following the death of Gross' grandfather the night before.

Gross said Smalley was betraying him and was going to take everything including the home he resided in with his grandfather.

Officials said Gross called 9-1-1 on himself, but throughout the investigation said there couldn't have been much time for a lengthy discussion before bullets were fired.

"I think it's important for us to speak honestly with one another about our emotions, not to get so involved in the details of what exactly happened in the house. But certainly all that will come when the trial comes," Shock said.

"Gross is facing two murder charges and an aggravated assault charge. He's expected back in court for trial January 19th.


Don't Miss

  • Children's Miracle Network: Season of Miracles
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • 2018 Golf Card Sale!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • 31 Nights of Lights Contest 2017
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Home for the Holidays
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center