Murdered Wildlife Officer Laid To Rest

Monday, November 22, 2010 – Scott Wykoff and Associated Press
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 near the Maryland border outside of Gettysburg.

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.

Defense in Pa. Warden’s Killing: Presume Innocence

Kristin L. Rice, an assistant public defender in Adams County, released a statement Wednesday that expressed sorrow for the death of Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove but said that her client, Christopher Lynn Johnson, has a right to a fair trial.

“It is not helpful to anyone involved in this process to spew hatred on newspaper forums or to create a climate in this community in which a fair trial is compromised,” Rice wrote. She said Johnson is “beloved by his parents, his sisters, his fiancee and his child” and that “there is so much yet to learn about the events of Nov. 11.”

Police said he confessed, telling investigators he was a felon in possession of a firearm and did not want to return to prison.

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