The case of State of Missouri v. Gary Grove in Christian County has now been resolved. What was once a felony charge of Involuntary Manslaughter in the Second Degree was reduced to and resulted in a plea to a traffic violation of failure to maintain lane of travel.
Originally a Careless and Imprudent Ticket
Following a vehicle accident in June of 2017, prominent Springfield Pharmacist Gary Grove was issued a ticket for Careless and Imprudent Driving.
Grand Jury Indictment for Involuntary Manslaughter
He was then surprisingly indicted by a Christian County grand jury in November of that year for Involuntary Manslaughter in the Second Degree. His “mugshot” was posted on many media outlets accompanied by news articles detailing the case and the felony charge, and his reputation was irreparably damaged.
Charge Reduced to a Traffic Lane Violation After Adam Woody Provided Medical Records and Expert Reports
After our office conducted a thorough investigation, we provided the Prosecutor’s Office with Mr. Grove’s medical records and multiple expert reports that the accident was due to a medical emergency he experienced while driving that night. In an interview with KY3, Mr. Grove clarified that he had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted in his body two weeks after the accident.
Mr. Grove is happy to get this matter behind him and move forward knowing that the Christian County Prosecutor’s Office ultimately made the right decision in reducing the charge to a lane violation after evidence showed that the accident was due to Mr. Grove facing an unavoidable medical issue while driving that evening.
It truly was an accident in the purest sense of the word, but one that Mr. Grove will have to live with for the rest of his life. His remorse has been agonizing at times since the accident. He can now move forward and continue operating three Grove Pharmacies in Springfield, where he helps thousands of clients with their daily needs. Grove Pharmacy has remained family owned and operated for over 60 years here in the Ozarks.
Aside from owning Grove Pharmacy since 1980, Mr. Grove devotes his time to community involvement and humanitarian needs. Mr. Grove has dedicated his time as a volunteer at the Aids Project of the Ozarks for 30 years. Through Grove Pharmacy and Grove Spa, Mr. Grove donates to over 200 charities each year. To that humanitarian end, his heart pours out to the victim of this accident, Julien Wayne, as well as his family, friends, and loved ones.
The silver lining at the end of the day is that the system worked and that justice did not come at the expense of a felony conviction and the possibility of prison time for a good, decent man. A felony was wholly unwarranted and unsupported by the evidence, and fairness was accomplished through an amendment and disposition as a lane violation. We thank the Christian County Prosecutor’s Office in working out an appropriate disposition in the face of public scrutiny. That is what justice deserves.
KY3 Story. https://www.ky3.com/content/news/Springfield-pharmacist-pleads-guilty-in-deadly-crash-from-June-2017-508066311.html
KOLR 10 Story. https://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/pharmacy-owner-gary-grove-pleads-guilty-to-traffic-lane-violation/1898833494
Springfield News-Leader Story. https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2019/04/03/springfield-pharmacy-owner-pleads-guilty-lesser-charge-manslaughter/3350815002/