Criminal Justice

Lawyer Gets 10 to 25 Years in Hunting Accident Manslaughter


Updated: A 49-year-old Pennsylvania lawyer was sentenced today to a 10- to 25-year prison term after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter and illegal gun possession in a hunting accident last year.

David Manilla’s lawyer said he was very sorry about the accident that killed Barry Groh, 52, on Nov. 29, recounts the Reporter.

He also said Manilla had pleaded no contest in the case to make it easier for Groh’s widow, Theresa, to potentially collect through Manilla’s insurance the damages she is seeking in a civil suit. “We believe the family deserves to be properly compensated, and we’re working in that regard too with her civil lawyers,” he stated.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said the maximum sentence was 25 years, if Manilla is sentenced consecutively. However, Manilla’s sentence could be affected by his cooperation in an ongoing federal grand jury investigation of how he obtained 60 guns found at his Montgomery County home.

His lawyer argued for a lesser term, based in part on Manilla’s health issues. Not helping the defendant in his attempt to get a lighter sentence in the Bucks County Court case was his prior record of criminal conduct and hunting violations, including a 1985 conviction for aggravated assault for hitting a Norristown man with a steel bar and fracturing his skull.

Manilla yesterday turned in to the state supreme court his voluntary resignation from the Pennsylvania bar, the newspaper reports.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Charged in Hunting Accident Had Prior Run-Ins with the Law”

ABAJournal.com: “Prosecutor Says Lawyer’s No-Contest Plea in Hunter’s Death Is ‘Repugnant’”

Updated at 1:30 p.m. to include and accord with Recorder sentencing information.

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