WILMINGTON — A man accused of shooting a state wildlife agent has been found guilty of all charges.
After three hours of deliberation Wednesday night, a jury found Brian Liming, 44, of Jamestown, guilty on charges of assault (felony 4), tampering with evidence (felony 3), hunting without a deer permit and hunting without a license — the latter both misdemeanors.
The charges are related to the December 2020 shooting of Kevin Behr, an officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Wildlife Division.
Wildlife officers were investigating a deer poaching complaint last December in the area of Macedonia Road and Martinsville Road when the shooting occurred.
According to authorities, Liming had exited the vehicle he was in, went into a wooded area where Behr was and fired a shot to chase out a buck deer they heard was in the area.
Clinton County Prosecutor Andrew McCoy Stated Thursday morning that Liming was illegally hunting on the property without permission of the property owner and without a valid deer permit.
“Hunting with a 20-gauge and thermal-optic scope, he discharged his firearm and struck Ohio Wildlife Investigator Kevin Behr, who was present on the property and in the process of setting up an investigation upon complaints of poaching from the road,” said McCoy. “Officer Behr called to Liming to stop shooting, to call 911 and for aid. Liming discarded his firearm and thermal-optic scope, and did not call 911 despite having a phone, and fled.”
Behr was aided by fellow ODNR officers and local first responders, and he was flown via CareFlight to UC Hospital in Cincinnati.
He was hospitalized, initially in critical condition, for nearly three months, and he underwent numerous surgeries.
During his testimony Wednesday, Behr told the court about the various medical procedures and the extent of his injuries. He advised his pelvis was shattered and many of his internal organs were damaged. He said he now has to have a colostomy bag at all times and he now walks with two walking sticks, similar to hiking poles.
“It has been a struggle every day,” said Behr, adding his family has also been greatly affected.
McCoy said Liming was later apprehended walking down a nearby road when he claimed to have had no involvement in the shooting and further claimed to be pursuing the shooter, according to McCoy.
“I would personally like to acknowledge the courage of Investigator Behr,” stated McCoy in a news release. “He has spent his life as a dedicated public servant and he and his wife Kathy are two of the strongest and most inspiring individuals I have had the pleasure to meet.”
Liming also, in August, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful transport of firearms in U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio. He was ordered to forfeit a 20-gauge shotgun and eight 20-gauge shotgun shells to authorities.
Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Clinton County Common Pleas Court.