Lawyer Faces Criminal Charges In Hunter’s Death
A Montgomery County lawyer is charged with involuntary manslaughter and several gun and hunting law violations in the death of a Bucks County hunter. Court documents say 49-year-old David Manilla, who has a law office on Valley Forge Road in Worcester, admitted shooting 52-year-old Barry Groh of Quakertown as he dragged a deer along the Tohickon Creek in Richland Township on opening day of the firearms deer season, the Monday after Thanksgiving. The victim was on publicly-owned open space adjacent to a farm Manilla owns on California Road. He died almost instantly when a slug from a high-powered rifle tore through his arm and into his heart. An Affidavit of Probable Cause says he did not try to help Groh after shooting him, he failed to call 911 immediately, he left the scene before police finished interviewing him, and he tried to hide his 30-06 Remington pump-action rifle, which has a range of more than three-quarters of a mile. Manilla told investigators that he mistakenly believed he was shooting at a deer. He also admitted that he knew hunting with a rifle is illegal in Bucks County, where only bows, shotguns and muzzle-loaders are allowed because of the high population density, and he admitted that he was not allowed to have any firearms because he was a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in 1985 after hitting a man on the head with a barbell outside a Norristown fitness club. The victim in that incident, Daryl Childs, suffered permanent brain damage.