35 year old John Stiver will spend the rest of his life in jail, now that a jury has found him guilty for killing 58 year old David Hoover.
It happened in Altoona on July 26, 2018 at the parking lot of Bethany Lutheran Church after a failed drug deal.
Stiver claims he was acting in self-defense, with Hoover coming at him with a baseball bat.
“This case was not only about what the individuals involved in the drug transaction and the shooting did, but the danger and disruption that their behavior caused everyone who was congregating at that park,” Peter Weeks, Blair County First Assistant District Attorney, said.
In court Stiver admitted to the murder but his legal team claims stiver is protected by Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine.
This allows someone to use a deadly weapon for self-defense if an exit is not possible.
But Blair County First Assistant District Attorney, Peter Weeks, says because Stiver was involved in a drug deal, the Castle Doctrine does not apply.
“The defendant was not in the shoes of an ordinary citizen,” Weeks, said. “If an ordinary citizen is minding his own business in their home or place of work, or car and they are confronted or attacked by something, they have a much broader protection under Pennsylvania law.”
Weeks says Stiver had options to leave and did not have to use his gun.
“We’re very pleased that we got a first degree murder conviction, because the conduct that comes along with drug trafficking in the community is something that simply can’t be tolerated,” Weeks, said.