Convicted killer Ross fails in bid for release, returned to prison

MUNCIE, Ind. — After a last-minute bid to again be granted his freedom, convicted killer Tom Ross has returned to the state's prison system.

Ross, now 65, in 1995 was convicted of fatally shooting his former wife, Paula Arbogast Ross, outside Gaston Elementary School. Testimony at his Delaware County trial indicated Ross had stalked and repeatedly harassed his victim before the homicide.

Then-Judge Robert Barnet Jr. imposed a 60-year prison sentence. Ross was granted parole in March 2021.

Tom Ross, 2022 photo
Tom Ross, 2022 photo

While he lived in Elkhart County following his release, the former Gaston resident met a Lafayette woman through an online dating service.

That woman would tell Tippecanoe County authorities that when she told Ross she no longer wished to see him after their third date, he continued to contact her, placed items in her mailbox and came to her home.

More:A quarter-century later, killer is the sole survivor in family murder saga

That led to his arrest last August, and his conviction in January for harassment, resulting in a 180-day jail term.

The arrest also led to Ross being accused of violating the terms of his parole. As a result, he was not released after being sentenced in the harassment case although he had already completed that sentence.

Last week, Ross filed a hand-written motion asking a Tippecanoe County judge to place him under the supervision of a community correction program in Elkhart County.

That did not happen, Instead, Ross has since been transferred to the Miami Correctional Facility north of Kokomo.

A state Department of Correction website lists his projected release date in December 2038, when Ross would be 81.

Whether he will get an opportunity before that to ask the Indiana Parole Board for another chance at freedom remains to be seen.

Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Convicted killer Tom Ross returns to prison