Where It Stands is a weekly column that takes a look at what has happened with a news story since it was last reported on by The Sentinel.
Have a story you want followed up on? Email The Sentinel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Wayne Strawser Jr.
It has been nearly a year since The Sentinel reported on the case of accused killer John Wayne Strawser Jr.
Strawser, 41, of Terra Alta, West Virginia, is accused of shooting and killing Timothy Davison, 28, of Maine, on Jan. 4, 2014, along Interstate 81 near Greencastle in Franklin County.
Davison was driving from Florida, where he had been vising family during the holidays, to his home in Poland, Maine, when police said Strawser chased his silver SUV down, drove Davison off the road and shot him multiple times.
Police said they believed Strawser mistook Davison’s vehicle for that of one belonging to the husband of a Waynesboro woman with whom Strawser had become infatuated.
In September 2015, Strawser was charged with first-degree murder in Davison’s slaying, several months after he was arrested in West Virginia for killing his ex-girlfriend, Amy Lou Buckingham in April 2015.
He has since been convicted of first-degree murder for killing Buckingham, sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and extradited to Pennsylvania to stand trial for killing Davison.
The Sentinel last reported on Strawser’s case in November 2017 when Strawser had a preliminary hearing.
Since then, his case has been proceeding through the court system in Franklin County.
A pretrial conference was held in late October, and Strawser is expected to stand trial in Franklin County between August and October 2019, according to The Herald-Mail newspaper in Hagerstown, Maryland.
In 2016, The Sentinel published a detailed investigation into Strawser’s case, finding that breakdowns in law enforcement and the criminal justice system provided him with the opportunity to allegedly kill two people.
Some of the key findings from that investigation included:
- Strawser was arrested for DUI in Maryland while driving the vehicle he is accused of driving the night he allegedly killed Davison a few months after Davison’s death, and he was released. That information was never relayed to Pennsylvania State Police.
- A case against Strawser accusing him of stalking a woman in Maryland was dropped just days prior to Davison’s killing. At the time, Strawser was on probation for stalking a woman in West Virginia. His probation was not revoked as a result of the Maryland case despite it being a violation to travel out of state.
- A few weeks before Strawser killed Buckingham, a West Virginia sheriff’s deputy found the gun he is alleged to have used in both killings inside Strawser’s home during a welfare check and allowed Strawser to keep the gun. At the time, Strawser was on probation and subject to a protection from abuse order, barring him from possessing firearms. He had also been convicted of felony motor vehicle theft roughly a decade earlier making him ineligible to own or possess firearms under West Virginia and federal law.