A man who fled to Israel was convicted of first-degree murder May 6 in the death of his mother, a former Moreland Hills resident.

A jury in Manatee County Court took about one hour to find Thomas Joseph Gross guilty in the murder of his mother, Ina Gross, who was killed in 2012 at her Lakewood Ranch, Fla., home, according to television station WWSB in Sarasota, Fla. He was sentenced to life without parole.

Gross was extradited back to the United States for allegedly stabbing his mother to death in the garage, according to the television station.

An arrest warrant was issued in September 2014, and by the time a grand jury indicted him on first-degree murder charges, Gross had gone to his family’s home in Israel. He was extradited back to the U.S. to stand trial in 2019, and was booked into the Manatee County Jail, where he remained without bond.

According to the American extradition request, as reported by The Associated Press, Gross, a resident of Herzliya, traveled to visit his mother in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Either the night before his return to Israel on Jan. 8, 2012, or the following early morning, he allegedly drugged her with sleeping pills and stabbed her to death in her car outside her home, The Times of Israel previously reported.

Gross subsequently called 911, reaching the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and tried to portray the crime scene as a suicide or robbery that took a deadly turn. A knife was found next to her body, The Times of Israel reported.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked instructed the state attorney to bring Gross before the district court to declare him fit for deportation.

Gross’ Israeli lawyer, Eyal Besserglick, had said Gross previously was questioned and released by authorities and that the extradition was part of an inheritance battle with his sister, Ellen Gerth, who accused her brother of killing their mother to hide money their mother gave him, according to Ynetnews. Besserglick also said Gross had tried to resuscitate his mother and took a lie detector test that backed up his story, according to The Times of Israel.

According to the Daily Mail’s prior report based on court documents filed at the 12th Judicial Circuit in Manatee County, Gross received $690,645 in loans from Ina Gross by the time of her death.

Ina Gross’ late husband, Dr. Samuel Gross, underwent post-graduate training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he subsequently ran the division of pediatric hematology/oncology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital for 23 years, according to the Samuel H. Miller Keeping Our Words Alive Digital Archive of the Cleveland Jewish News. Samuel Gross died in 2010.

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