Pennsylvania Lawyer Gets 10-25 Years After Hunting Accident

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.

10 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Lawyer Gets 10-25 Years After Hunting Accident”

  1. I was very glad to say this your article are very nice to watch, you can we more about the hunting vest and with the images of it, there are many kind of vest, we can get this at every store and we can buy this at which we like, thank you.

  2. But HenMan, they were TERRORIST puppies!

    There is apparently a mega-ditz elected in Arizona trying to live up to Cheney’s standard:

    “Arizona lawmaker points loaded gun at reporter’s chest”
    While the loaded pistol had no safety and the laser pointer was centered on the reporter’s chest, Klein explained that there was no need to worry.

    “I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger,” she said.

    Just two days after a gunman in Tucson killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Klein surprised security guards by first trying to bring the firearm onto the Senate floor.

    “They said, ‘You can’t go in.’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I can. I have a right to carry,'” Klein recalled.

    In March, the freshman state senator found herself in hot water again for reading a letter on the Senate floor that claimed Hispanic students “hate America” and only want to become “gang members and gangsters.” ”

  3. Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face when they were out hunting tethered puppies. And, he got an apology from his victim. By the way (and this was not reported in the press), both Cheney and the man he shot got the bag limit of tethered puppies. Thus, no laws were broken.

  4. I think the verdict was fair given the circumstances, but I’ll be interested to see how the civil suit turns out. Manilla apparently thinks the law only applies to other people. If Manilla was willing to hide guns, I’m sure that Groh’s widow is right to be concerned that he is also trying to hide assets.

  5. I wonder what responsibility the former district attorney ( now dead ) and the family friend had, knowing he owned and used guns post is conviction and sentencing not to do so.

  6. While supporting the right of people to bear arms, I get queasy when stories such as this come to the foreground. There is something in some gun owners that borders on addiction. Just how many guns must a hunter have?
    How many guns does a someone feeling the need for protection have to have before feeling safe? How can a lawyer be so obsessed that he not only disobeys the terms of his former conviction, but does so openly? Throw
    the book at the bastard, his actions deserve it.

  7. MB,

    it all depends upon the type of felony….and the connections….Then again….a Medical Doctor can remained licensed even after being convicted of MURDER….

  8. Deer Season….The Season without a reason to get rid of anyone….

  9. He’s lucky that the sentence is only 10 to 25… One heck of a guy, it would seem…


    “I think you should consider yourself lucky. This case was as close to a murder case as I’ve seen,” Cepparulo said, noting that Manilla had profanely threatened to kill another hunter he had seen on or near his property.

    Cepparulo also vowed to end the armed arrogance Manilla had displayed for many years before the shooting death.

    In 1985, Manilla was convicted of felony assault for breaking a man’s skull with a weightlifting bar in Norristown. The crime drew a relatively light four-month sentence, but made it illegal for Manilla to possess most firearms.

    Yet he continued to hunt, even after a 1995 change in the law that forbade felons from possessing long guns used for hunting. Manilla’s hunting privileges had already been stripped after he was cited in a 1993 episode that left a pheasant hunter shot in the neck, but he resumed two years later. (end excerpt)

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