MARTINSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A hunter who shot and seriously injured an officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who was investigating a deer poaching complaint has been convicted of felonious assault.
Brian Liming, 44, of Caesarcreek, was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and misdemeanor charges of hunting without a license and hunting without a deer permit, Clinton County prosecutors said Thursday.
Liming shot Kevin Behr, a 25-year veteran of the department, last December. Behr was among a group of ODNR officers investigating the poaching complaint, but no other officers were injured in the shooting. Behr testified at trial that his pelvis was shattered and many of his internal organs were damaged.
Liming and two other men were in a pickup truck looking for deer when they spotted a buck in a wooded area, authorities said. Liming fired a shot that was intended to chase out the buck, but instead the bullet struck Behr, according to court documents.
Behr called to Liming to stop shooting and asked him to call 911 to summon medical aid. But prosecutors said Liming discarded his weapon and didn't make the call before he fled. Behr was soon helped by fellow officers and other first responders.
Liming was found walking down a nearby road shortly after the shooting occurred and denied any involvement in the incident, authorities said. He also claimed to be pursuing the shooter.
Behr remained hospitalized through March and underwent numerous surgeries, and must walk with the aid of two walking sticks.