A Rogersville man’s trial for involuntary manslaughter will be pushed back, despite objections from his defense attorney.
Gary W. Grove, 66, appeared in circuit court in Christian County on Jan. 23. Christian County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney R. Patrick Springer made a motion for continuance, which will allow the prosecution more time to examine evidence in Grove’s case. Grove is accused of second degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of Julien “Skip” Vaughan Wayne III in 2017.
Springer explained to Senior Judge John S. Waters that the state wants more time to review reports and prepare the potential testimony of expert witnesses in Grove’s case, which was an accident involving a car and a motorcycle.
Springer told Waters that the expert reports are very detailed and that prosecutors want more time to review them to prepare for a trial. Defense attorney Adam Woody argued that Grove’s case has lasted more than a year, and that Grove is ready to proceed with a bench trial.
“I’ve noticed it’s 443 days old, but who is counting?” Waters said.
Waters ultimately granted the continuance over the defense’s objection.
“The state has not asked for a continuance before,” Waters said.
Wayne died June 11, 2017, following a two-vehicle accident on Selmore Road about two miles south of Ozark. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, Wayne was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound on Selmore Road at approximately 7 p.m.
The Highway Patrol report stated that Grove was driving a northbound Cadillac vehicle that allegedly crossed the center line on the two-lane road and struck the motorcycle head on.
A Christian County grand jury issued an indictment on Oct. 27, 2017, about four months after the accident, alleging that Grove caused Wayne’s death by driving “with criminal negligence” on the wrong side of the road and “while exceeding the speed limit.”
Wayne was a resident of Fort Worth, Texas who was riding his motorcycle while vacationing in the Ozarks.
The maximum punishment under Missouri law for second degree involuntary manslaughter, a class E felony, is four years in prison or a year in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Grove’s case will be set again for trial at a future date.