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Former Derry mayor found not guilty of threatening kids with gun

Derry Borough, Pa. — A jury returned not guilty verdicts Wednesday for charges against the former Derry mayor accused of threatening kids with a gun.

After about three and a half hours of deliberating the jury found Kevin Gross not guilty on all charges. Gross was initially charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and harassment after he reportedly pointed a loaded gun at a 15-year-old boy who got into a fight with his son in April 2019 at a Derry playground.

Gross said he believed a knife was involved. That turned out to be a marker.

Felony charges were dropped Tuesday. Testimony only lasted about a day and a half so the jury only had to consider simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment.

Gross was also accused of ordering one of the boys to his knees with his hands above his head. The boy told police the gun was pointed directly at him.

He’s was also accused of pointing the gun at three girls who were at the park, telling them to put their cellphones and other belongings on a bench, investigators said. He would not allow them to call their parents, according to investigators.

But with an acquittal, his attorney says Kevin can move on with his life.

“I think the charges filed against Mr. Gross were improperly filed. I don’t think there was any evidence whatsoever that he intended to intimidate anybody. He was reacting in a situation like anybody would react, and doing what he thought was best in that split second,” attorney Tim Andrews said. ““Obviously we’re ecstatic by the verdict, we feel it’s justified. Mr. Gross and his family have gone through two years of hell awaiting this trial and he’s ecstatic and his family’s ecstatic, maybe they can move forward with their lives.”

The judge also granted a request from the defense that Gross get his firearms back that investigators confiscated from him home two years ago.

The Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case said he was disappointed for the victims but respects the jury’s decision.

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