Sentencing hearing postponed for Elkhart man convicted of murder in connection with Saleh's Market shooting

The court denied Richard Gross' motion to withdraw his guilty plea. 

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 8:51 a.m.

GOSHEN — The court agreed to move a sentencing hearing for a man convicted of murder in connection with a double homicide at Saleh's Market.

Richard Gross pleaded guilty to two counts of murder Dec. 9, 2013. He filed an open plea, which means the judge could sentence any punishment specified by law.

Both parties will be able to argue Gross' sentence and even present evidence during his sentencing hearing. Gross faces up to 120 years in prison.

During Gross' plea hearing, the court scheduled his sentencing hearing for the afternoon of March 14. During a hearing Thursday, March 13, Gross' attorneys asked the court to move the trial date.

Gross came up with a different request and told the court he wanted to withdraw his plea. Circuit Court Judge Terry Shewmaker read the transcript from Gross' plea hearing, in which Gross admitted several times he had participated in a robbery Sept. 5, 2013, that resulted in the death of Jagtar Bhatti, 55, and Pawan Singh, 20, at Saleh's Market, 401 Middlebury St.

During questioning by his attorney, Gross told the court he planned the robbery at Saleh’s Market with his co-defendant, Kevin Moore, and that they even traded their shoes because they thought Moore’s red shoes would give him away.

Shewmaker denied the motion to withdraw the plea. However, he granted Gross' attorneys additional time to prepare for the sentencing hearing. Gross' attorneys did not have all of their client's files because Gross had withheld some information from them in hopes of giving that information to a private attorney his family was trying to hire.

Gross' sentencing hearing was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. May 1. Moore's sentencing hearing is still set to go the afternoon of March 28.


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