The Adams County man accused of fatally shooting Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove is facing the death penalty.
Christopher Lynn Johnson, 27, of 16 Ski Run Trail in Fairfield, remains in the Adams County jail without bail, charged with homicide and related offenses.
Grove, 31, was fatally shot Nov. 11 during a "ferocious exchange of gunfire" after stopping Johnson for suspected poaching, according to Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski.
Johnson was scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Adams County Court. It is during this proceeding that Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner is expected to officially notify the court he is seeking the death penalty for Johnson.
Court records show
The background: The slaying happened in the 300 block of Schriver Road just outside Gettysburg in Freedom Township, police said.
Johnson was shot in the hip area during the firefight, according to Pawlowski.
Charging documents indicate Johnson confessed to shooting Grove with a .45-caliber handgun.
"He advised that he was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and did not want to go back to prison," charging documents state. In Pennsylvania, it's a crime for felons to possess guns.
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, calling in Johnson's license-plate number, and ordered Johnson and a passenger out of Johnson's pickup truck, Pawlowski said.
"There was a struggle around the car and an exchange of gunfire," he said.
Fled: 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.
Johnson was later captured at his hunting camp along Orrtanna Road in Franklin Township, Adams County, where state troopers were waiting to arrest him, police said.
Adams County Coroner Pat Felix said Grove suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but his cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the neck.
Game commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said a Pennsylvania wildlife conservation officer hasn't been slain in the line of duty since 1915.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at email@example.com, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.