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Once facing felony, Grove Pharmacy owner’s charge reduced

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Last edited 12:48 p.m., April 4, 2019

Grove Pharmacy owner Gary Grove yesterday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor traffic charge after originally facing a felony related to the 2017 death of a motorcyclist.

Grove admitted to the charge of failure to drive on the right half of the road. He was ordered to serve two years of unsupervised probation, required to perform 100 hours of community service, and to refrain from consuming or possessing alcohol, having contact with the victim’s family or being within 1,000 feet of any member of the victim’s family or place of employment. A 180-day jail sentence was suspended, according to April 3 documents filed in the Christian County Circuit Court.

Grove was indicted in October 2017 on a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter in the second degree. He was accused of causing the death of Julien Wayne III, a Texas resident, by hitting Wayne’s motorcycle with his vehicle in Christian County. The indictment alleged Grove “did so with criminal negligence in that defendant drove on the wrong side of the roadway when the road was sufficient width and while exceeding the speed limit,” according to a court document.

A statement provided by Grove’s attorney, Adam Woody of the Law Office of Adam Woody LLC, said the 2017 incident was “an accident in the purest sense of the word.”

“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 weekend,” the statement reads. “His remorse has been agonizing at times since the accident.”

The statement did not address a previous civil suit filed by Wayne’s relatives. Christian County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson in March 2018 approved a $1 million settlement to plaintiffs Patricia Crawford and Julien Wayne IV, according to a separate court document.

Grove owns three pharmacies in Springfield, as well as Grove Spa. The company has been family-owned for some 60 years, according to the statement from Woody.

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