Christopher Ronell Mackey
Birth: December 22, 1979
Death: September 22, 2009
Christopher Ronell Mackey of Dothan passed away on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. He was 29. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Patterson Street Free Will Baptist Church, 406 Patterson St., Dothan, AL. Reposing at Scott’s Chapel Hill Mortuary, 103 West Southport Street, Dothan. Visitation will be Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 from 3 – 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow in the Gates of Heaven Cemetery, Dothan, AL under the direction of the Caring Staff of Scott’s Chapel Hill Mortuary of Dothan. Scott’s Chapel Hill Mortuary, (334) 677-7200, is in charge of arrangements.
Burial: Judson Baptist Church Cemetery, Screamer, Henry County, Alabama, USA
The Dothan Eagle
Matt Elofson – Aug 5, 2010
A Dothan man faces the possibility of life in prison after a jury found him guilty Thursday in what prosecutors called a gang-related murder.
After less than half an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict against Gregory Gross.
Dothan police detectives arrested Gross, 27, and charged him with shooting Christopher Mackey to death on Sept. 22, 2009. Mackey suffered a single fatal gunshot wound while at Frank’s Billiard’s in the Dixie community.
Circuit Court Judge Larry Anderson informed the jury that they could also choose a lesser included offense in the case, which included manslaughter. Gross, who will remain held in the Houston County Jail, will be sentenced next month by Anderson.
Mackey’s mother, Virginia Morris, said the Mackey family will hopefully be able to move on with their lives after Gross’ conviction.
“He should have to pay for killing my only child,” Morris said. “I’m glad it’s over with. I’ll always miss him, but there will still be some closure.”
Morris said her son died trying to help someone else.
“He was trying to stop them from arguing,” she said. “My son wasn’t a fighter.”
Daphne Glanton, Gross’ sister, said she prayed for a not guilty verdict while the jury deliberated.
“I’m just scared because this is a serious charge, and this is his life,” Glanton said. “I know somebody else did it. I’ve seen the system help people, and I’ve seen the system hurt people.”
A jury acquitted Glanton earlier in the week for a drug trafficking charge.
Glanton said Mackey was not killed during a dispute between rival gangs as prosecutors alleged. She said it was a dispute between two men over a missing gold chain.
“It’s not an eastside or westside thing,” she said. “It’s just turned real ugly over a ‘he said-she said’ thing.”
District Attorney Doug Valeska said because of two prior felony convictions, Gross faces a “mandatory” punishment of either 99 years behind bars or life in prison.
“I’m relieved,” Morris said. “Justice has been served.”
Valeska argued to the jury that Gross intended to kill another man as part of a gang dispute.
“Don’t get confused, he wasn’t trying to kill Chris Mackey,” Valeska said. “He was a gang member who had a pistol, and took the law into his own hands. He had the intent, he knew it was loaded and he wanted a confrontation. He got gang justice by trying to get Bubba.”
Valeska said Gross had an argument with another man named Anthony “Bubba” Smith in the pool hall on the night of the shooting.
“Greg Gross took a pistol, and he was all amped up and looking for trouble,” Valeska said. “Bubba was unarmed, and just wanted to be left alone. He ran off into the dead of the night like a thief when he stole Chris’ life. Do the right thing today, and run the sword of justice right through his heart. Chris Mackey deserves justice.”
Attorney Dustin Byrd, who represented Gross, reminded the jury of how David Malone, who was in the bar on the night of the shooting, testified he did not see Gross with a gun.
Valeska countered with arguments that included how Malone admitted to using marijuana on that night, and that two other witnesses said they saw Gross pull the trigger.
Byrd said there were reasons to doubt the prosecution’s case, which included the lack of DNA evidence and no murder weapon was submitted.
“You’ve got an eye witness testimony, and he says Mr. Gross didn’t have a gun,” Byrd said. “What more do you need?”