Attorney David Manilla received a sentence of 10-25 years behind bars for a hunting accident in which Barry Groh was killed. Normally, such accidents are tragic but routine — without criminal charges. However, Manilla was barred from owning guns due to a prior conviction. Manilla, 49, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and firearms offenses, including possession of a gun as a felon. Manilla’s effort conceal the crime aggravated the underlying crime.
The accident occurred on Nov. 29 when Manilla went hunting with his uncle, former Montgomery County District Attorney Michael Marino and a family friend on a property owned by Manilla. Manilla on that day had gotten off the ATV with the other men and took a shot near the edge of his property. Prosecutors charged that, after finding Groh’s body, Manilla did not report the shooting for more than a half hour and failed to reveal in his 9-1-1- call that Groh was bleeding.
Here is an excerpt:
Manilla: We found someone de … ah, in the water with a hunting accident.
Operator: OK, are they awake and responding to you right now?
Manilla: No, they look like they’ve already passed.
Police say that the three men told responders that they thought the man died of a heart attack.
They believe that Groh had taken off his hunting vest to clean a deer in a creek when he was shot. Witnesses said that they saw Manilla running from building to building looking for a place to hide his rifle. When he finally turned over his Remington Model 760 pump action .30-60 with a Redfield 3×9 scope, “the rifle bore had been plugged with mud and the scope and rear fixed sight were damaged.” He later admitted that he damaged the gun to try throw off investigators.
Marilla was later found to have nearly 100 guns and told household employees to move from his house into that of his girlfriend immediately after the shooting.
There is a civil lawsuit pending and Groh’s widow has alleged that Manilla has tried to conceal assets.
Source: The Reporter as first seen on ABA Journal.