Elderly man charged with shooting son, murdering daughter-in-law


by Adam Walser


Posted on January 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 5 at 1:06 PM

(Grayson Co, Ky) -- "I just couldn't believe it. They were good people," said Allen Back, reflecting on murder and assault case involving an elderly man in the tiny Wax Community in Grayson County.

Police say 84-year-old Alva Gussler, who is bedriddern, shot his son Michael Gussler and Michael's common law wife Laura Ford.

"They got into an argument. She got up close enough to himi to where she was right next to him. and he pulled out a gun and shot her," said Kentucky State Police spokesperson Norman Chaffins.
"They was constantly keeping tabs on him, taking care of him because he couldn't get out of bed. He was big guy," said Back, who once had to help firefighters hoist Gussler into the hospital bed he was confined to in his living room.

Gussler's wife died last year, according to Back.

That's when his son and daughter-in-law became his primary caretakers.

"We were straightening things in his bed and I saw it. I think it was under his pillow," said Back.

Police say they've been to the residence before for investigations involving Michael Gussler, who has a prior criminal history and a history of domestic violence.

Detectives indicate that Alva Gussler may claim self defense in the shootings.
His booking photo shows what appear to be recent facial injuries.

"There is some conflict between their statements, so we're gonna try to piece together, based on what they've told us, based on evidence at the scene, to try to tell how it happened and exactly what ensued," said Chaffins.

Alva Gussler is being held without bond in the Grayson County Detention Center, charged with Murder and First Degree Assault.