The man accused of shooting and killing 28-year-old Timothy “Asti” Davison, of Poland, Maine, along Interstate 81 near Greencastle in 2014 will not face the death penalty.
“I am not seeking the death penalty in this case, and the victim’s family is aware of that decision and in support of that decision,” Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal said via email.
John Wayne Strawser Jr., 40, of Belington, West Virginia, was arraigned Monday night on a first degree murder charge stemming from the Jan. 4, 2014, shooting death of Davison in Franklin County, according to court records.
Bail was denied and Strawser was taken to Franklin County Jail, according to court records.
Fogal said an executive agreement between Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has been reached to bypass some of the time restrictions placed on traditional extraditions.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 17 in front of Magisterial District Judge Kelly Rock in Chambersburg, court records show.
“We are grateful that the court proceedings have finally started. It’s been a long wait,” Theresa Allocca, Davison’s mother, said. “We want to thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to receiving justice for Asti.”
Davison was driving home from Florida, where he was visiting family over Christmas, when Strawser ran his vehicle off the road and shot him multiple times, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Police said they believe Strawser mistook Davison’s silver SUV for that of one belonging to the husband of a Waynesboro woman Strawser had become infatuated with.
Cellphone records and DNA evidence place Strawser at the scene of the crime and a Rossi Ranch Hand firearm found at Strawser’s property in West Virginia matched shell casings found at the crime scene, according to police.
Strawser had multiple interactions with police in Maryland and West Virginia following Davison’s death, including an arrest in April 2014 for DUI while driving the truck he is alleged to have driven the night Davison was killed, according to court records.
However, charges against Strawser in Davison’s death were not filed until September 2015 shortly after he was charged with shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend Amy Lou Buckingham in West Virginia.
The gun authorities believe Strawser used in both killings was found inside his home roughly two week before Buckingham’s death by a Preston County Sheriff’s deputy, who allowed Strawser to keep the gun despite Strawser’s status as a person not to possess firearms, according to court records.
That deputy has since been promoted.
In 2016, Strawser was convicted of killing Buckingham and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
West Virginia abolished the death penalty in 1965.