Prosecutor won't file charges against woman accused of killing fiancé; man's cousin says jury should decide case

Crystal Gross 

OMAHA — The woman accused of fatally stabbing her fiancé after her sister’s wedding will not face criminal charges, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine decided Wednesday.

Crystal Gross, 30, stabbed Amir Bey, 35, at her sister’s home near 169th Street and Grand Avenue about 9 p.m. Saturday. Bey died soon after being taken to the hospital. Both lived in Houston and were visiting for Gross’ sister’s wedding on Saturday.

Kleine said that Gross was justified in using a knife to stab Bey once in the chest.

“This was unfortunately a domestic violence situation,” Kleine said. “There’s evidence that corroborates her version of events.”

Walter Murray, Bey’s cousin, who lives in New York, said he was told that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the stabbing wasn’t self-defense.

“My thing is, you should let the jury decide,” Murray said. “The case can’t be closed that quick. If it was the other way around, he would have had to prove himself.”

Gross had been in the Douglas County Jail since Saturday, awaiting a bail hearing pending Kleine’s decision. Her name no longer appears on the jail census.

“The (county attorney’s) gotta be held accountable for this. They dropped the ball,” Murray said.

According to law enforcement officials:

Gross was extremely drunk at the reception — so much so that a bartender said he wouldn’t serve her any more drinks.

Bey also had been drinking. The two got into an argument. Words were exchanged, and the two talked about taking the argument into the parking lot.

They left instead. While driving to the bride’s house, Bey raised a fist at Gross, Kleine said. She jumped out of the car and fell down in a muddy field. Bey got her back into the car and drove to the house.

After they arrived at the house, a neighbor found Gross wailing as she lay on the front porch. Bey came out and brought her inside.

Inside, Gross went upstairs to get away from Bey, and he pulled her down by her hair, Kleine said. Neighbors heard Gross screaming.

She ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. He came at her again, Kleine said, and she stabbed him.

Kleine said Gross told authorities, “I didn’t want to kill him, but I didn’t know what else to do. I needed him off me.”

Gross had scrapes on her elbows, scratches near her breasts, marks on her arms, and her fingernail was torn off, Kleine said.

Bey stood 6-foot-3 and weighed 280 pounds, Kleine said, while Gross is 5-foot-8 and 135 pounds, according to jail records.

Kleine said he’s unaware of the reason the fighting began.

Gross’ mother, Judy Gross, has said the attack was in self-defense, but she said she was not there when the altercation occurred.

An attorney for Bey in a Houston federal fraud case called him a “gentle giant” who was not aggressive. Attempts to reach Bey’s mother were unsuccessful.

Crystal Gross was convicted in Harris County, Texas, on two misdemeanor charges of cocaine and Xanax possession in 2008 and 2009, according to court documents.

This is the second fatal stabbing in Douglas County within a year involving a male victim and female attacker that has been ruled justified.

In July, 54-year-old Terry DePerkins was fatally stabbed near 24th and Sprague Streets by a woman after an argument, police said. Kleine declined to file charges in that case, saying her use of force was justified.

Murray said his cousin planned on marrying Gross and helped take care of her children, often taking them to school.

“He was a gentle guy, funny, charismatic and had a warm heart,” Murray said. “Whatever is going to be done, it can’t bring him back. We just want justice.”

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