According to court documents Game Commission Officer David Grove would approach Christopher Johnson regarding a poached deer when Johnson would open fire killing the Officer
Christopher Johnson would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Christopher Johnson Photos
Christopher Johnson Now
Parole Number: 617CF
Date of Birth: 05/19/1983
Height: 6′ 01″
Current Location: PHOENIX
Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: ADAMS
Christopher Johnson Case
The federal appeal of an Adams County man sentenced to death for killing a state game officer in 2010 has been stayed pending the outcome of proceedings in state court.
U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann Thursday granted the stay to allow Christopher Johnson of Fairfield to exhaust his Post Conviction Relief Act appeal in state court.
Johnson is appealing his first-degree murder conviction for killing Game Commission Officer David Grove, 31, during an exchange of gunfire on a rural road near Gettysburg on Nov. 11, 2010.
State appellate courts have upheld the verdict of a jury imported from Lancaster County due to pre-trial publicity in Adams County.
Grove was killed after he stopped a pickup truck on the suspicion the occupants had poached a deer.
Arrest documents state Johnson dropped the keys to the vehicle when ordered but then shot Grove with a pistol as the officer tried to handcuff him.
Police found 25 casings and determined 15 of them came from Johnson’s pistol, which meant he had reloaded it during the exchange of gunfire.
Johnson, who was wounded, was arrested after getting a ride to a hunting camp
The defense argued during the trial Johnson was too drunk from drinking beer to form an intent to kill.
Johnson’s federal court appeal includes numerous allegations of ineffective counsel and constitutional issues.
It contends trial counsel failed to call experts who could have testified about Johnson’s mental state at the time of the incident due to being abused as a child, a bipolar disorder and previous incarceration.
Failure to object to having a jury from Lancaster County was another mistake because residents there have access to the same television news as those in Adams County, the appeal state
Johnson claims the prosecution withheld evidence of a deal it made with a star witness that resulted in him receiving a favorable outcome to a deer poaching charge.