A Kentucky man who attacked his ex-girlfriend and used a knife to remove her scalp told a judge at his sentencing, “I don’t need a lecture,” PEOPLE confirms.
Since his arrest, Zachary Gross has maintained it was his dog — not him — who attacked his ex, Marilyn Stanley, in the fall of 2015, ripping her hair from her head and mangling one of her ears. Despite being convicted last month on a pair of assault charges, Gross, 31, stuck to his story on Wednesday.
“For her injuries — I feel horrible for what happened,” Gross said to Judge Rick Brueggemann, court officials confirm. “I don’t feel responsible. I maintain my innocence. It is what it is. I’m not asking for your mercy. Just give me the 20. I don’t need a lecture.”
Subsequently, Brueggemann sentenced Gross to 21 years in prison, court records show. The extra year stems from a parole violation.
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Gross also received an extra month in prison for making an obscene gesture at news cameras during his criminal trial, court records confirm.
The judge also ordered Gross’ dog, a pit bull named “Capone,” euthanized, a court official tells PEOPLE.
Court records indicate that Gross lost his temper in September 2015 after noticing a photo of Stanley and her son on the Facebook page of another man. The attack unfolded inside Gross’ trailer in Walton, Kentucky.
According to prosecutors, Gross confronted Stanley, who grabbed a knife in self-defense. When she refused to drop it, Gross not only assaulted her but also ordered the dog to attack her.
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After the attack, Gross forced Stanley to look at herself in a mirror, mocking her appearance and telling her no man would ever want her because she was now bald, court records verify. He later dropped Stanley off at her mother’s house with part of her scalp in a plastic bag.
Stanley could not be reached for comment on Friday. She has undergone six surgeries since the attack and is still unable to regrow her hair.
The incident left Stanley with permanent nerve damage. She has no memory of the actual attack.
Stanley spoke briefly to reporters outside the court room after watching her ex sentenced.
“In anything he has said throughout this entire process, he hasn’t had any remorse for me,” she said, according to WLWT. “It’s been proven. I went in there and I had my scalp. I left and I didn’t.”