2 felony charges against suspended Md. EMS chief dismissed

Christopher Biggs remains charged with four misdemeanor counts in a large deer poaching case


Jeffrey Alderton
Cumberland Times-News, Md.

KEYSER, W.Va. — Two felony charges against Allegany County's suspended Department of Emergency Services EMS chief, who was charged in connection with what some have called the largest deer poaching case in West Virginia's history, were dismissed Friday in Mineral County Magistrate Court.

"I'm feeling like today is a small victory," Christopher Biggs said outside the Keyser courtroom. "I think the judicial system got it right."

West Virginia Natural Resources Police conducted the investigation that led to 223 charges against Christopher Biggs and seven other people and involving at least 27 antlered bucks being illegally taken in Mineral, Grant and Hampshire counties in 2021.
West Virginia Natural Resources Police conducted the investigation that led to 223 charges against Christopher Biggs and seven other people and involving at least 27 antlered bucks being illegally taken in Mineral, Grant and Hampshire counties in 2021. (File photo/Keith Srakocic/Associated Press)

West Virginia Natural Resources Police conducted the investigation that led to 223 charges against Biggs and seven other area residents and involving at least 27 antlered bucks being illegally taken in Mineral, Grant and Hampshire counties from mid-September to late December 2021.

A motion to dismiss the felony charges of forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery was granted by Grant County Magistrate Willard Earle II, who presided over the hearing.

Biggs, who is suspended without pay from his Allegany County role, remains charged with four misdemeanor counts.

Other residents charged in the investigation included former Mineral County sheriff's deputies Tyler Biggs, son of Christopher Biggs, and Dalton Dolly, both of whom resigned from their positions; Robert Horner Sr.; Robert Horner Jr.; Ivy Rodehaver; Colton Broadwater; and Gregory Broadwater.

Rebecca Miller, the Hampshire County prosecuting attorney, was present at Friday's hearing but declined comment, citing an "active investigation."

The decision to dismiss the felony charges was apparently reached during informal discussions outside the courtroom between Miller and Christopher Biggs' attorney Dan James.

Biggs was formally charged after the hearing with misdemeanors of spotlighting, hunting from a motor vehicle, having a loaded firearm in a vehicle and a "general conspiracy hunting" charge, James said.

Biggs, 55, said after the hearing that he is "eager to get back to work to serve the people of Allegany County."

"I'm hoping when this is over that I can go back to my job in Allegany County," said Biggs, who worked for the county for 14 years and said he remains employed as a certified instructor with the University of Maryland's Fire and Rescue Institute on a per diem basis.

Biggs said he also continues to serve as a paramedic volunteer with Keyser Emergency Medical Services.

Friday's hearings included defendants Robert Horner Jr., who is represented by Keyser attorney Max White, and Robert Horner Sr., who is represented by Keyser attorney Jason Sites.

Much of the morning's discussion included attempts to agree upon a pre-trial hearing date that would accommodate Earle, Miller and the defense attorneys, as well as evidence discovery issues.

Earle set May 16 as the date for pre-trial hearings for Chris and Tyler Biggs and Robert Horner Sr. and Robert Horner Jr.

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(c)2022 the Cumberland Times News (Cumberland, Md.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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