Woman gets 1 to 2 years on gun charge in 2009 trooper death

trooper death
Jack Tomczuk

A woman has been sentenced to one to two years in state prison in the purchase of a gun used in the shooting death of a state trooper more than a decade ago in eastern Pennsylvania.

Court records indicate that 37-year-old Emily Joy Gross of Westfield, N.J. pleaded guilty in June in Monroe County to a third-degree felony firearms charge. Monroe County Judge Stephen Higgins sentenced her Friday to 12 to 24 months minus time served in a related federal prosecution, The Morning Call reported.

Authorities alleged that Gross bought the .9 mm weapon, falsely claiming to be a Pennsylvania resident, and left it with Daniel Autenrieth although she knew that he was barred from having firearms due to a protection-from-abuse order filed by his ex-wife.

Gross, who said she listed Autenrieth’s address because she believed she would soon be moving in with him, was sentenced in 2011 to seven months in federal prison after pleading guilty to lying on the firearms purchase form. The state prosecution was beset by appeals over venue changes and assertions of double jeopardy.

Authorities said Autenrieth later kidnapped his 9-year-old son from his estranged wife’s home in Nazareth and led troopers on a high-speed chase in June 2009. The 40-mile chase ended in a shootout in Monroe County that killed him and also claimed the life of 34-year-old Trooper Joshua Miller. The boy was uninjured.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the nation’s highest award for first responders, was later presented by then-Vice President Joe Biden to the family of Miller, a Marine veteran and father of three, and to Trooper Robert Lombardo, who was wounded in the shoulder in the shootout.

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