WILMINGTON — The primary suspect in the shooting of a state wildlife officer now faces a federal charge.
A federal warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio was executed against Brian Liming, 44, of Jamestown, on Thursday in Clinton County Common Pleas Court.
Clinton County Prosecutor Andrew T. McCoy said Liming was charged under a section of the federal criminal code which makes it a federal crime for an individual with a prior conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence to possess a firearm.
“My understanding is the [federal] charge arises from Mr. Liming’s alleged possession of a firearm on the same date from which his local charges arise,” McCoy told the News Journal.
“(Liming) will be held in jail overnight and then returned to federal authorities in Cincinnati tomorrow for an official hearing,” said McCoy.
Both the Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Ohio have independent authority to pursue their respective charges, McCoy explained.
On Thursday, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck scheduled a status hearing for June 7 to see what the next step will be in the case in front of his court.
Liming is one of three men charged in relation to the shooting of Wildlife Investigator Kevin Behr of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in December. The other two are Bryan Achtermann, 36, of Midland, who faces a charge of no hunting license or deer permit; and Thomas Davis, 35, of Jamestown, who was charged with aiding an offender.
Wildlife officers were investigating a deer poaching complaint in the area of Macedonia Road and Martinsville Road in the Martinsville area when the shooting occurred.
According to authorities, Liming had exited the vehicle he was in, went into a wooded area where Behr was and fired a shot at what he thought was a deer.
“Mr. Liming reports he heard someone screaming so he ran and he found a man with a gunshot wound. The man yelled at Mr. Liming to call 911,” the affidavit states.
Liming allegedly ran out of the woods, told another suspect to call 911, then he “got nervous and fled the scene on foot.”
He later came out of the woods and he turned himself in to law enforcement officials.
Davis currently has a jury trial scheduled for April 30 in Clinton County Municipal Court. Achtermann has entered two “no contest” pleas in Municipal Court.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.