US seeking extradition of American-Israeli accused of murdering his mother

JTA

(JTA) — The United States is seeking the extradition of a man with dual Israeli and American citizenship who fled to Israel after allegedly murdering his mother in Florida.

Thomas Gross, 63, was arrested Sunday in Herzliya, where lives in Herzliya with his wife and a young adopted daughter. In 2012, he allegedly stabbed his mother, Ina, to death in the garage of her home in Lakewood Ranch, near Sarasota, after sedating her with sleeping pills.

Israel’s justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, ordered the state’s attorney to bring Gross before the district court to determine whether he is fit for deportation. His custody remand has been extended by eight days.

A warrant for his arrest was first issued by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in July 2014.

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“My client was released by the authorities after an investigation in the U.S. without any conditions,” Gross’s attorney, Eyal Besserglick, told Ynet. “His passport was returned to him and they told him there was no suspicion against him.”

Besserglick also told Ynet that Gross “was the one who tried to resuscitate his mother. He was the one who called the police, and he underwent a polygraph that confirmed his version of the events.”

Gross was visiting his mother for a memorial service marking two years since his father’s death.

American authorities allege that Gross used sleeping pills to sedate his mother, 78, then put her in her car inside the garage before stabbing her repeatedly with a knife. The next morning, Gross called emergency services saying he had found his mother’s body in the garage.

Gross also has two sons from a previous marriage.

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