Jury votes for death penalty in parents' killing

Published May 4, 2007

BRADENTON - A jury recommended Thursday that a 24-year-old be executed for fatally beating his parents with a baseball bat while they slept. The jury voted 8-4 that Blaine Ross should be put on death row for the slayings of Richard A. Ross, 54, and Kathleen M. Ross, 52, on Jan. 7, 2004. Judge Ed Nicholas will make the final decision on Blaine Ross' sentence, but the jury's recommendation carries great legal weight. The same jury convicted Ross last week on two counts of first-degree murder. Ross originally told police he came home and discovered his parents' bodies. He was charged several days later with the crime. In a confession to police, Ross said he didn't remember committing the crimes because he had been using alcohol, marijuana and Xanax. Prosecutors said Ross killed his parents because they told him to grow up and they cut him off financially.


Student threatens teacher over grade

STUART - A Stuart high school student who was failing math threatened his teacher with a Virginia Tech-style massacre, authorities said. The 18-year-old student made the threat on April 25 after the teacher told him he was failing the class, according to a Martin County Sheriff's Office report. "If that happens, I'm going to shoot - It's going to be another Virginia Tech incident, " the student said, according to the report. The student's expulsion is pending a psychological evaluation and a meeting with school officials. He is listed as a suspect but has not been arrested, the Stuart News reported. The Associated Press is not naming the student. "Any time any student makes any kind of threat - threatening violence - we take that very seriously, " school spokeswoman Cathy Brennan said.