Bail modification denied in attempted homicide case | News

Debora Carley

SUNBURY — A Sunbury man facing attempted homicide charges had a bail modification denied by a district judge on Tuesday. Benton Ross, 29, of Mile Post Road, is charged with felony attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in an occupied structure after police say he […]

SUNBURY — A Sunbury man facing attempted homicide charges had a bail modification denied by a district judge on Tuesday.

Benton Ross, 29, of Mile Post Road, is charged with felony attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in an occupied structure after police say he shot a man earlier this month. Ross also faces misdemeanor charges of strangulation, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person.

Ross appeared before Sunbury District Judge Mike Toomey by video Tuesday for a preliminary arraignment. Ross waived his hearing, sending the case to county court.

Toomey denied Ross’s request to reduce his $250,000 bail. Ross remains in Northumberland County Jail.

Troopers were dispatched to Mile Post Road at 1:28 a.m. on Aug. 8. When they arrived they found Brian Cunningham with a gunshot wound and in need of medical assistance, according to court documents. Cunningham was transported to Geisinger Medical Center, in Danville, for the injury.

A woman told police she and Ross were at a wedding Saturday night and they drove with relatives who observed Ross being “nasty” to her. They reported it to Cunningham, troopers said.

Troopers discovered a round of ammunition and a magazine for a pistol on the floor in the dining room and kitchen area, according to court documents.

Troopers also observed small red droplets of blood on the floor, police said. A woman inside the home told troopers she hid the pistol inside the couch, troopers said. The woman told troopers she took the gun after it was fired and hid it while Ross pushed Cunningham to the floor where they wrestled until she was able to get them to stop, troopers said.

The woman told troopers she was in the room when the shot was fired. She told troopers Ross and Cunningham were arguing for nearly 10 minutes before the shot was fired, troopers said.

In an interview with police, Cunningham said he was told by a witness that Ross hit the woman’s head off a vehicle window and threatened to remove a 1-year old child from a car seat and throw the child in the river, according to troopers.

Cunningham said he was trying to leave the home and Ross tackled him and started to strangle him with a chokehold, according to court documents. Cunningham said he couldn’t breathe and heard Ross yelling, “you’re going to die,” troopers said.

Ross’s attorney, Mike Rudinski, of Williamsport, attended the arraignment Tuesday.

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