Firearm possession guilty plea in wildlife shooting


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



CINCINNATI — The main suspect in a Clinton County shooting of a wildlife officer has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Last week, Brian Liming, 44, of Jamestown, pled guilty to firearm possession by a prohibited person in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Liming could face up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. No sentencing date was listed in court documents.

According to the statement of facts document, Liming must immediately forfeit a shotgun used in the incident and ammunition. He must also forfeit two other shotguns and other assorted ammunition.

Liming is one of three men charged in relation to the shooting of Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Investigator Kevin Behr in December 2020.

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.

Liming heard someone scream and eventually found Behr who told him to call 911. Liming ran out of the woods and fled the scene on foot after telling another suspect to call for help. He later turned himself over to authorities.

Liming was charged in federal court due to a prior conviction of domestic violence in Greene County.

Clinton County Prosecutor Andrew T. McCoy advised in April there’s a section in the federal criminal code that makes it a federal crime for an individual with a prior conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence to possess a firearm.

The other two men originally charged in the case were Bryan Achtermann, 36, of Midland, and Thomas Davis, 35, of Jamestown.

Achtermann entered a no-contest plea to charges of hunting without a license and hunting deer without a permit. He was sentenced to 20 days suspended jail time, must take part in supervised probation, must forfeit his firearm to authorities, and is prohibited from hunting for six years.

Davis’ charge of complicity was dismissed upon the payment of costs, according to Clinton County Municipal Court records.

Liming has a three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on Nov. 8 in Clinton County Common Pleas Court. He faces four charges including assault (third-degree felony), tampering with evidence (third-degree felony), hunting without a deer permit (third-degree misdemeanor), and hunting without a license (third-degree misdemeanor).

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com