UPDATE: Investigator says Dothan man died in gang-related argument

A recent Dothan murder was gang-related, a police detective said during a bond hearing Friday at the Houston County Courthouse.

District Court Judge John Steensland denied a bond reduction for Gregory Gross in the murder case filed against him. Dothan police investigators arrested Gross last week, charging him with shooting 29-year-old Christopher Mackey to death at Mr. Frank’s Billiards in the Dixie community. Gross will remain held at the Houston County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

Dothan Police Investigator Ray Wiehe testified Gross, 26, was charged with murder after three eyewitnesses identified him as the shooter, including two people who were within 10 feet of the gunfire. Wiehe said the shooting happened after an argument between Gross and a third man, Anthony “Bubba” Smith.

“It was a gang-related argument,” Wiehe said.

Wiehe said Gross was apparently affiliated with the Eastside gang, and he was trying to get Smith to serve as an intermediary for the Westside gang. Wiehe said Mackey had apparently been trying to tell the two men arguing to take it outside when he was shot. Wiehe said the investigation showed there was no reason to believe the victim was affiliated with any gang.

In Gross’ initial statement to detectives, he claimed a member of the Westside gang shot Mackey. Wiehe also said Gross claimed he didn’t see the shooting, even though he admitted to being less than two feet away. The shooting happened shortly after midnight on Sept. 22 at the pool hall located on East Powell Street.

Eric Davis, the attorney who represented Gross, questioned Wiehe about whether one of the two key witnesses was a convicted felon and cross-dresser.

“He is a man who wears women’s clothes,” Wiehe said.

Steensland questioned Wiehe about the motive to the killing.

“The argument was over Eastside/Westside gang-related activity,” Wiehe said.

Wiehe also said the victim reportedly used foul language when he told Gross to take the dispute outside.

“The name calling was seconds before the shots were fired,” Wiehe said.

Before Steensland made his ruling, Davis said his client did not have enough money to be a flight risk. Davis asked the court to lower the bond from to the $50,000 to $100,000 range.

District Attorney Doug Valeska argued against a bond reduction, calling Gross a danger to the community.

“He’s shooting in a nightclub; whether they’re cross-dressers or not, they have a right to be there,” Valeska said. “There was no one struggling with it (the gun)
when it went off.”


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