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    1. #1
      Heidi's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
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      Christopher Lynn Johnson - Pennsylvania Death Row

      Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove, killed Thursday in the line of duty. (Pennsylvania Game Commission)

      Adams County man to face death penalty for slaying of wildlife officer

      A convicted felon will be charged with first-degree murder and other offenses for the Thursday-night slaying of a 31-year-old wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

      Christopher Lynn Johnson, 27, of Fairfield, Adams County, fatally shot WCO David L. Grove during a "ferocious exchange of gunfire" after Grove stopped Johnson for suspected poaching, according to Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski.

      The slaying happened in the 300 block of Schriver Road just outside Gettysburg in Freedom Township, police said.

      Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner indicated he will seek the death penalty for Johnson.

      "If a law-enforcement officer is intentionally killed in the line of duty, that is grounds to seek the death penalty," Wagner said.

      And if an officer is killed on duty in Adams County, the district attorney said, "we will seek the death penalty."

      More charges: In addition to first-degree murder, Johnson will also be charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, firearms not to be carried without a license, possessing an instrument of crime, flight to avoid apprehension and various violations of the state game and wildlife code, according to Wagner.

      "The charges will be filed (Friday) afternoon," he said. "We anticipate Mr. Johnson will be arraigned. He is in a local hospital right now receiving treatment."

      Johnson was apparently shot in the hip area during the firefight, but his injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to Pawlowski.

      Johnson was in York Hospital, but his condition could not be obtained.

      What happened: Pawlowski said Grove was on nighttime patrol looking for game-law violations when "he witnessed what he believed to be a poaching incident," specifically spotlight hunting with gunfire.

      Grove immediately called for backup and ordered Johnson and a passenger out of the pickup truck they were in, Pawlowski said.

      "There was a struggle around the car and an exchange of gunfire," he said, describing it as a "ferocious" firefight.

      Cumberland Township Police officers arrived at the scene two minutes after Grove called for backup, but Johnson and his passenger were gone and Grove was already shot, Pawlowski said.

      Grove had also called in the license-plate number of the pickup truck Johnson was driving, which allowed police to quickly identify their suspect, he said.

      Numerous police agencies, as well as game commission officers and members of the U.S. Marshals Service, worked with state police throughout the night and into Friday morning to track down Johnson, officials said.

      Police also identified Johnson's passenger and have spoken with him, Pawlowski said.

      "We consider him a witness right now, and he's working with our troopers to piece together what happened," he said.

      On foot: After the slaying, Johnson abandoned the pickup truck he was driving and was spotted limping along a road by a passing driver, police said. Johnson asked the driver -- who had no idea what had happened -- for help, police said.

      "This motorist obliged and took him to a (nearby) hunting camp," Pawlowski said.

      But troopers, who already knew Johnson's identity, were at the camp waiting for him, the commissioner said. Johnson, who reportedly was considered armed and dangerous, was arrested without incident, police said.

      That happened at 9:40 a.m. Friday in Franklin Township, Adams County, according to Trooper Tom Pinkerton, a state police spokesman.

      Multiple wounds: Adams County Coroner Pat Felix said Grove suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but his cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the neck. Felix has ruled Grove's death a homicide, she said.

      The coroner made her ruling after a Friday-morning autopsy at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital.

      Grove was an avid hunter, fisherman and golfer, according to Robert Criswell of the state game commission.

      Game commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said a wildlife conservation officer hasn't been slain in the line of duty since 1915.

      'Shocked': "We are shocked and saddened by the killing of WCO Grove," said Carl Roe, executive director of the state game commission, said in a news release. "He was a bright, young officer who was dedicated to conserving Pennsylvania's wildlife resources, and promoting our state's rich hunting and trapping heritage. Our prayers and thoughts go out to WCO Grove's family and friends, as we mourn the loss of one of our own."

      Grove became a full-time WCO on March 8, 2008, and was assigned to the southern district of Adams County, Feaser said.

      He served as a deputy WCO in Franklin County from 2001 until 2007, and also worked at the Penn State University deer-research facility in Centre County from 2003 until 2004, according to Feaser.

      In 2004, Grove received a bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State, Feaser said.

      Criminal history: Online court records reveal Johnson, who has lived in Gettysburg and Fairfield, pleaded guilty in November 2005 to fleeing or attempting to elude police and endangering the welfare of a child.

      In exchange for his plea, other charges -- including speeding, reckless endangerment and reckless driving -- were dismissed, records state. Johnson was sentenced to probation.

      He pleaded guilty in February 2002 to burglary in two separate cases, and also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary in a third case, records state. He received probation in all three cases, according to records.

      However, he violated the terms of his probation and served time in prison for it, records state.


    2. #2
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      Oct 2010
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      Slain wildlife officer mourned

      David L. Grove, 31, was dogged in his pursuit of poachers but also tried to teach, a friend said.

      FAIRFIELD, Pa. - When Tom Stoner thinks about his friend David L. Grove, the state wildlife conservation officer fatally shot on patrol a few miles from here Thursday night, the stories come spilling out.

      He recounts how Grove, 31, once found two young boys illegally using bait to hunt deer in his territory 50 miles west of Harrisburg. He apprehended them and then tracked down their father.

      "The father was teaching the kids to break the law," Stoner said. "David recognized that. He used a commonsense approach and got the guy responsible."

      Grove wasn't afraid to prosecute people, but he tried to educate them, too, said Stoner, who had shared his 180-acre hunting ground in western Adams County with Grove for the last three years.

      Stoner dropped into a chair Saturday at the Fairfield Inn across the street from where Grove once lived, disturbed about losing his friend, shaking his head and calling the crime "useless" and Grove's death "senseless."

      Police say Grove, a Pennsylvania State University graduate deputized as a conservation officer in 2008, was shot in the head by Christopher L. Johnson, 27, of Fairfield, during a nighttime altercation over illegal deer hunting. Johnson is held in the Adams County jail, charged with first-degree murder.

      Grove is being remembered as the first conservation officer slain in Pennsylvania in the line of duty since 1915. Gerald Feaser, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said that the funeral would be Sunday in Waynesboro and that conservation officer delegations from almost every state were expected to attend.

      Grove's unusual balance of compassion and courage made him an ideal law enforcement officer during his brief career, said Stoner, 72, a retired high school coach and guidance counselor.

      When Stoner met Grove six years ago at the Rouzerville Fish & Game club just west of Gettysburg, Grove - bookish, slightly built, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 140 pounds - was working as a deputy conservation officer, a volunteer eager for a chance to share his knowledge of hunting and safely manage the state's deer.

      Stoner didn't think Grove would make it in the rough-and-tumble world of law enforcement, he said.

      But after Grove completed a nearly yearlong training course, a metamorphosis occurred, Stoner said.

      "He really grew confident and was dogged in his pursuit of offenders," he said. "Soon he was solving crimes right and left."

      Feaser said he remembered when Grove was selected to attend the wildlife conservation officer training class in 2007.

      "You'd think he won the lottery," Feaser said. "He had a smile on his face all the time. He was made to be a conservation officer."

      Patrolling the back roads and forests of Pennsylvania in search of illegal hunters is just a part of a conservation officer's job, but it occupies significantly more time in the fall.

      Poaching has long been a problem throughout the state. With one million hunting licenses issued each year, Pennsylvania has more legal hunters than any state except Texas. An estimated 1,000 cases of poaching - including people caught hunting at night or out of season, using spotlights, or shooting from vehicles - are prosecuted in the state each year. But that number represents only a small fraction of illegal hunters, state game officials say.

      It was a call about night hunting near several luxury houses on multiple-acre tracts about two miles from Gettysburg National Military Park that put Grove in harm's way Thursday night.

      He stopped two men in a pickup truck about 10:30 p.m., shortly after they had killed a buck in a cornfield. Grove was trying to handcuff Johnson when, police say, Johnson pulled out a .45-caliber handgun, touching off a "ferocious firefight" that ended with Grove lying on the ground with a bullet in his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnson was apprehended Friday morning at a hunting cabin several miles away. He was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound to a hip.

      Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner said Friday that "there is a very great possibility, if not certainty, that we will seek the death penalty."

      Feaser said the fact that there had been only a handful of altercations with game officials in the last several decades didn't diminish the threats to law enforcement officers patrolling alone, often at night, in remote areas. And, he said, the people they are looking for are nearly certainly armed.

      Chalmer Helm of York Springs, who served as a volunteer deputy conservation officer for 20 years, said he had witnessed generations of poachers in action.

      "You'd pick up a guy, and then a few years later you're picking up their son or grandson," Helm said. "Some people go insane when they see big deer. They think being given a hunting license gives you a privilege to do whatever you want."

      Stoner said Grove, who was single, had never tried to bully people when he caught them, but had been relentless in the cat-and-mouse chase of poachers.

      "He made a difference in his young life," he said. "Who knew what he could have done with it?"

      Stoner said he was in Philadelphia Thursday night, watching as his former basketball coach, Jim Phelan, was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

      "That's where I was when David was killed," Stoner said. "He was just so happy and satisfied. His job reigned supreme in his life. I can't believe he's gone."

      Stoner plans his own simple memorial on a tree stand - a hunting perch - in the fields they shared in the picturesque Carroll Valley, not far from the Maryland line.

      "We're going to put up a plaque in his honor on one of our tree stands," he said. "It will soon be known as the David L. Grove Tree Stand.


    3. #3
      Heidi's Avatar
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      Funeral plans set for slain Game Commission officer

      The Pennsylvania Game Commission officer killed in the line of duty last week will be laid to rest this upcoming weekend.

      A public viewing for 31-year-old David Grove will be held Friday from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home in Waynesboro. A service will be held Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Waynesboro High School auditorium. Burial will follow.

      Police have charged 27-year-old Christopher Johnson with first degree murder in the shooting of Officer Grove.

      Thursday night, police said both men exchanged gunfire as Grove was trying to arrest Johnson for poaching deer. Prosecutors said they plan to seek the death penalty in this case.

      Meanwhile, Grove's brother said his family is trying to make sense of his death and focus on the positive memories they have of him.

      Chad Grove described his younger brother as outgoing and fun-loving, a devout Christian who took his job seriously and loved the outdoors.

      Chad Grove said he's been remembering the good times they shared, but he can't help but think how the last person his brother saw alive was probably the man accused of shooting him to death.

      Chad Grove said the shooting was "something very selfish" that ripped his brother away from his loved ones.


    4. #4
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      Police tried to save their colleague, and friend

      Police tried to save the life of slain Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove last week, after he was shot and killed by a poacher in Freedom Township.

      Cumberland Township Police Chief Don Boehs reported Sunday that Officer Dan Barbagello administered CPR to Grove, minutes after the 31-year-old was allegedly shot in the neck by Christopher Lynn Johnson, of Carroll Valley.

      “Our guys tried to save his life. That’s what you’re trained to do,” an emotional Boehs said Sunday, two days after the alleged homicide.

      “The guys are taking it hard,” he said. “They’re OK, but we’re going to have to do a debriefing,” Boehs said regarding counseling for individuals who have experienced a stressful or traumatic event.

      Grove radioed for backup at 10:36 p.m. Thursday, shortly after he pulled over Johnson, in a Chevy pick-up truck, for illegal hunting. Police arrived within two minutes, but it was after Grove and Johnson engaged in a “ferocious exchange of gunfire.” Grove was shot four times, including a fatal blow to the neck, according to Adams County Coroner Pat Felix.

      “Officer Barbagello arrived first, saw Officer Grove on the ground and checked for vitals, and started to administer first aid and CPR,” said Chief Boehs.

      Within minutes, Cumberland officers Chad Topper and Matt Trostel arrived on the scene.

      “Everyone tried, but with the extend of his injuries, they were unable to bring him back,” said Boehs, who also arrived on the scene after 11 p.m.

      “The call came out at 10:36 and our guys were there at 10:38,” said Boehs. “The guys are taking it hard, because some of them knew Officer Grove personally. He was a good man,” said Boehs. “He stopped in at our station, and was friendly with everyone, and he socialized with a lot of the officers on off-duty hours,” said Boehs, adding that Grove “would go to lunch and dinner with us sometimes.”

      Felix said Sunday that there was no gunshot wound to the head, as was reported in police charging documents. Johnson shot Grove four times with a .45-caliber handgun, including once in the neck, once in the leg, and two graze wounds, to the foot and leg.

      Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner plans to seek the death penalty against Johnson, if it is determined that Johnson intentionally shot Grove.

      At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the 31-year-old Grove observed spotlighting and shots from a Chevy pickup truck in the area of Schriver Road and Red Rock Road, in rural Freedom Township. After conducting a vehicle stop, Grove ordered Johnson — the driver — and passenger Ryan Laumann outside. Grove also ordered Johnson to throw his keys out of the window, and Johnson complied. The 27-year-old Johnson used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot a spiked deer.

      Before Johnson got out of the vehicle, he told Laumann that “he wasn’t going back to prison and that he had a .45 caliber pistol on him.” Johnson is a convicted felon, and was not permitted to carry a gun. He has served at least two stints in prison, according to reports.

      Charging documents filed by arresting officers Tpr. Scott Denisch and Tpr. Curtis Whitmoyer state that Grove was aware there were firearms inside the vehicle, so Grove radioed to dispatchers at 10:36 p.m. that he was going to wait for assistance.

      Laumann was ordered to walk around the vehicle and stand by the drivers side door. Simultaneously, Johnson was ordered to walk backwards towards Grove, which he did. According to charging documents, Laumann heard Johnson say, “what’s this all about,” and the sound of hand-cuffs clicking. Laumann told police that he then heard shouting, and saw Johnson fire at least three rounds from his .45 caliber pistol at the officer. Both men saw the officer on the ground to the rear of the patrol vehicle, but neither “he (Laumann) nor Johnson provided any assistance, and the two got back into the Chevy truck and fled the scene.”

      Johnson suffered a hip injury, and shot the handcuff off his right hand with the pistol. He fled the scene with Laumann, but the two parted ways three minutes later. Police consider Laumann, of Fairfield, a witness to the incident, and he has cooperated with investigators.

      At 10:38 p.m. Officer Barbagello radioed to 911 that he was on the scene, and that there was an officer down and in need of medical assistance. Barbagello performed CPR, and other measures in an attempt to save Grove’s life until ambulances arrived. Felix later ruled Grove dead on the scene.

      Johnson later disbanded his truck, and asked a passing motorist to transport him to a campground in Franklin Township. He was apprehended without incident at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the campground, and treated for injuries at York Hospital under the surveillance of Pa. State Police.

      Johnson is being charged with criminal homicide, among other charges, and a court hearing is scheduled Nov. 18.

      Hunting is prohibited at night in Pennsylvania, and out of season. The two-week rifle season for deer begins the Monday after Thanksgiving. The Pa. Game Commission averages about 930 prosecutions each year for big-game poaching.

      A viewing for Officer Grove is scheduled from 1-8 p.m. Nov. 19 at Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home in Waynesboro, and a funeral service is being held Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. at Waynesboro High School.


    5. #5
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      Virginia Beach, Virginia
      Wildlife officer David Grove's death highlights dangerous work

      Pennsylvania’s wildlife conservation officers conduct many of their patrols alone, long after the sun has set, miles and sometimes hours from backup, in remote woods and fields. They see a spotlight shine or they hear a blast, and they have a choice: Do I move now or wait for backup?

      They know the risks.

      Most of the people conservation officers encounter are armed, and some have been drinking. Their training — defensive fighting, night-time shooting, conflict resolution — prepares them for it. Still, if the situation goes bad, they know help is a long way off.

      But they also know the reality that if they wait, the poacher might get away.

      Officers never forget the potential danger in that choice when they step into the woods, according to several current and retired Game Commission officers. Even if an officer does everything right, they said, you never know how a person will react.

      That hazard was made clear this month, when officer David L. Grove, 31, was shot and killed on a rural road west of Gettysburg.

      Grove pulled over a pickup truck the night of Nov. 11 after suspecting those inside of poaching. The driver, Christopher L. Johnson, stepped from the car and dropped the keys at Grove’s order, police allege, only to shoot Grove with a pistol when the officer tried to cuff him.

      Johnson, a convicted felon, later told police he didn’t want to go back to prison for illegally carrying a gun, according to charging documents. He is in Adams County prison, charged with criminal homicide. The Adams County district attorney has said he will seek the death penalty.

      Most cases are nothing like what happened on that road.

      Before Grove, no officer had been killed on duty since 1915; none had been shot since 1973.

      Officers issue 9,000 citations a year, 1,000 of them for poaching, and investigate hundreds of other cases they can’t prosecute, said Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser. It almost always ends peacefully.

      “We have officers who have encountered the same individual multiple times for poaching, and the worst that happens is an expletive,” Feaser said.

      The Game Commission has no set policy that tells officers when to pursue a suspect alone in the woods or wait for assistance, Feaser said. Officers are trained to use their discretion on a case-by-case basis.

      The risk is a part of the job, said Clint Deniker, the law enforcement supervisor for the Game Commission’s northwest region.

      “I think a lot of guys realize the inherent danger of walking up to a guy in a tree stand with a rifle who’s breaking the law,” Deniker said. “They can see you a long way before you can see them. They’ve got all the advantages, tactically.”

      Officers plan ahead, Deniker said. Whether they are out during the day or at night, they’ll make sure the regional office knows the area they will be patrolling. They’ll know which of their volunteer deputies are working and about how long it would take the deputies to reach them.

      If an officer spies poachers or someone breaking another game law and the officer can wait for backup, he or she likely will, said Skip Littwin, a retired conservation officer who used to patrol southern Dauphin County.

      If it’s a large group or the offender seems particularly aggressive, again the officer will probably wait, Littwin said.

      “We all love animals ... but in the grand scheme of things, no animal is worth getting hurt over or, God forbid, hurting someone else over,” Littwin said.

      But what might sound like an extreme scenario can be fairly routine for a veteran officer. They are used to dealing with armed men, Littwin said. Most people breaking game laws are facing a summary citation. They might not be happy about it, Littwin said, but they are reasonable.

      Since the state raised fines on poachers, more now try to flee, throwing guns and spotlights as they go, Deniker said. But when they get caught, often that’s it.

      When thinking about Grove’s case, Feaser said it’s important to note that police believe it’s more than a simple poaching case.

      Johnson wasn’t concerned about a fine for shooting at a deer from his truck, police allege, he was worried about being sent to prison for violating state gun laws.

      In another scenario, Feaser said, it’s conceivable to imagine Grove pulling up to Johnson’s truck to help with a flat tire and Johnson getting scared and reacting the same way. Grove was a well-trained officer, Feaser said, who knew when to pursue someone and when to pull back.

      Records show Grove had already called for backup before he was shot, and a Cumberland Township police officer arrived only a few minutes later, which Garner said was faster than conservation officers are used to seeing reinforcements.


    6. #6
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      Oct 2010
      Virginia Beach, Virginia
      Slain Pa. wildlife officer remembered as dedicated

      The Associated Press

      WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Mourners at the funeral of a Pennsylvania wildlife conservation officer killed during a poaching investigation are remembering him as a devout Christian, a dedicated officer and a loving family man.

      The funeral for 31-year-old David Grove was held Sunday at Waynesboro Senior High School in central Pennsylvania. It drew more than 1,000 mourners, including law enforcement officials nationwide and Gov. Ed Rendell.

      Community members lined Main Street after the funeral to pay their last respects to Grove. He was shot and killed Nov. 11.

      The suspect in Grove's killing was arrested the next day at a hunting camp. The county district attorney has said he will likely seek the death penalty.

      Grove was the first Pennsylvania game warden killed in the line of duty in 95 years.


    7. #7
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      Oct 2010
      Virginia Beach, Virginia
      Man accused in game warden slaying heads to court

      A district judge on Wednesday will decide whether there is enough evidence to support criminal homicide and other charges against the man accused of fatally shooting a Pennsylvania game warden near Gettysburg nearly two weeks ago.

      Christopher Lynn Johnson, 27, of Fairfield, is accused of criminal homicide in the Nov. 11 death of state Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove.

      At the preliminary hearing, District Judge Mark Beauchat will have to determine if the case against Johnson meets the minimum standard required under state law to forward the matter to common pleas court for a potential trial.

      Police say Grove, 31, was investigating spotlight poaching of deer in a rural area when he pulled over Johnson's pickup truck. Grove had called in the truck's license plate and had partially handcuffed Johnson when the shooting began, police said.

      Grove sustained four gunshot wounds, including the fatal shot to his neck.

      The next morning, after Johnson was arrested outside a hunting cabin, he confessed to the shooting, saying he was a felon in possession of a gun and did not want to return to prison, according to his arrest affidavit.

      Johnson suffered a hip injury that appeared to be a gunshot wound, suggesting Grove may have been able to return fire. He told police he shot off the handcuff, and threw his .45-caliber handgun into some woods.

      A passenger in Johnson's vehicle, 19-year-old Ryan Laumann, told police he insisted Johnson let him out within minutes of the shooting, and Johnson did so. Laumann's defense attorney, Steve Rice, said Tuesday there is a "reasonable possibility" that Laumann will face charges of some kind.

      "We have no reason to expect that he will face any homicide related charge," Rice said.

      A dead deer was recovered the next day near the scene of the killing, according to the Game Commission.

      Johnson's public defender has asked the public not to jump to conclusions, saying he deserves a fair trial.

      Grove was the first Pennsylvania game warden killed in the line of duty in 95 years. His packed funeral on Sunday in Waynesboro, the heart of the community where he grew up, drew well over 1,000 mourners, including uniformed law enforcement officers from around the country.

      Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner has said he will probably seek the death penalty against Johnson.


    8. #8
      Heidi's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
      Virginia Beach, Virginia
      New Information Released About WCO David Grove's Death

      GETTYSBURG, ADAMS COUNTY — District Judge Mark Beauchat ruled there is enough evidence against 27-year-old Christopher Johnson to go to trial in the shooting death of Game Warden David Grove.

      The Adams County District Attorney played the wildlife conservation officer's last 911 call and called four witnesses during Johnson's preliminary hearing at the Adams County Courthouse.

      Much of the testimony focusing on the sequence of events the night 31-year-old Grove was killed while investigating reports of poaching. After his arrest, Johnson, a convicted felon, admitted to police he shot Officer Grove, but said the game warden fired the first show in their fun battle.

      Investigators found 25 shell casings at the scene: 15 from Johnson's gun, 10 from Officer Grove's gun. State troopers testified Johnson had to reload his gun to fire off that many rounds. The autopsy shows Officer Grove was hit four times. Three in the lower body near his Game Commission SUV and a fourth fatal show in the neck while he was unarmed.

      "That occurred at the back of his vehicle, about 10-12 feet from the back of his vehicle. the officer's gun was located by the front driver side door," said Adams County District Wagner Shawn Wagner.

      Johnson's public defender said it's only the beginning of a very long process and much more is left to be learned about the circumstances surrounding Officer Grove's death.

      "There is still so much to be learned about the circumstances of november 11th and for that reason, I am asking the community to reserve judgment until all the facts are known," said Public Defender Kristin Rice.

      The District Attorney still plans to seek the death penalty in this case. Johnson was sent back to the Adams County Jail without bail. His next court date is set for December 23rd.


    9. #9
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      Oct 2010
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      DA seeking death penalty in murder of Game Commission officer

      Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner said he would file the paperwork Thursday seeking the death penalty for a Fairfield man charged in the Nov. 11 murder of a Game Commission officer.

      Wagner told abc27 News that the Notice of Aggravating Circumstances in the case against Christopher Johnson will state that Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove was a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, that the intentional killing was committed during the course of a felony, and that Grove was an eyewitness to a felony and was killed so that he could not testify.

      Johnson, 27, is charged with first-degree murder and several other charges stemming from a shootout with Grove in the 300 block of Shrivers Road in Freedom Township.

      Johnson had been stopped by the 31-year-old Grove for suspected deer poaching and was not permitted to possess a firearm because of a previous burglary conviction, according to court documents in the case.

      Author ties said Johnson, fearing a return to prison, pulled a .45 caliber handgun as he was being handcuffed and fired at Grove 15 times. Grove sustained three gunshot wounds, including a fatal wound to the neck. Ten rounds from the officer's gun were recovered from the shooting scene.

      Johnson sustained a gunshot wound to the hip in the incident and was arrested at a hunting cabin following an 11-hour manhunt.

      Grove, also of Fairfield, is the first Game Commission officer shot and killed in the line of duty since 1915.

      Johnson was scheduled for a formal arraignment Friday. His attorney has said he will plead not guilty.


    10. #10
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      Oct 2010
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      ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. -- The man accused of shooting and killing a wildlife conservation officer has pleaded not guilty in Adams County court.

      Christopher Johnson entered the plea Friday morning.

      He fired at least 15 shots when he killed David Grove, 31, in November, police said. Officer Grove had pulled Johnson over on suspicion of deer poaching near Gettysburg.

      IMAGES: Hundreds Attend Public Viewing For Slain Game Warden

      The district attorney is seeking the death penalty.

      Johnson is expected to go to trial this spring.


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