“This is the trial of John Strawser,” District Attorney Matt Fogal told the jury in his opening statement. “But I ask you to consider who’s not here – Timothy “Asti” Davison. This is not only the trial of John Strawser, but for ‘Asti’ Davison.”

The first day of the first-degree murder trial of John Strawser Jr., 41 – who is accused of shooting 28-year-old Davison, of Poland, Maine, on Interstate 81 in January 2014 – opened Monday afternoon in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas with statements from Fogal and Defense Attorney George Accardi.

John Wayne Strawser Jr.

Strawser Jr. is alleged to have chased Davison down on Interstate 81 in January 2014, ramming his vehicle and forcing him onto a snow-covered median.

Strawser, driving a dark-colored Ford Ranger pickup truck, allegedly circled back while Davison was talking on the phone to a state police dispatcher, and shot Davison several times in the head, leg and foot before fleeing.

Fogal addressed the jury for over an hour by laying out a timeline of testimony and evidence for a trial expected to last two weeks and involve statements from dozens of witnesses.

Two state troopers – one from Maryland and one from Pennsylvania – testified, as well as Davison’s mother, Theresa Allocca, and his step-sister, Adele Allocca, who both traveled from their home in Maine for the trial.


“Asti is my son – or was my son,” Theresa began as Fogal asked her questions about what Davison was like. “We were very close.”

He was a huge presence in their family – always around for barbecues, helping her out with Jeep repairs and playing disk golf. His nickname, “Asti” is a link to their family’s Italian heritage, a “celebration of life,” she said.

Timothy ‘Asti’ Davison, of Poland, was 28 when he was shot and killed Jan. 4, 2014, apparently by the driver of a pickup truck that ran him off the road as he was driving on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of his family

Theresa explained to the courtroom that she and her son often made trips to Florida from Maine, as they loved to visit family there.

This trip gave them the chance to see their relatives for the holidays. Davison took a different way home after his two-week stay, a suggestion from his grandfather to beat the big-city traffic.

Fogal asked her if her son had any enemies in the area he was gunned down, any connections to West Virginia or the defendant.

“Not at all,” she answered.


When Accardi questioned her, he inquired about the $64,000 award for information regarding her son’s killer, as well as a lawsuit filed by Jamie and Courtney Breese to get the money.

The Breese couple came forward in 2015 to inform police of their belief Strawser could have actually been after them the early morning hours of Jan. 4, 2014. They said Strawser could have shot at Davison thinking it was them, as they had a similar vehicle.

Accardi told the jury to be cautious of testimony from the Breeses, as their motive for coming forward against Strawser could be questioned in light of an affair and reward money. The Breeses’ tip was central to the state’s investigation of Strawser, and both Jamie and Courtney are scheduled to testify this week for the prosecution.

Theresa remained composed and straight-faced on the stand, except when she smiled  reminiscing on the details of her son’s life.

Davison’s step-sister Adele, said she and her brother were extremely close as well.

“He was there for every moment of my life,” she told the jury.


She was the last of their family to see Davison alive.

“He came back to my place for one more night to take me out for breakfast before he left,” Adele said.

She broke down on the stand when Fogal asked her about finding out the news of her step-brother’s death.

“My mom had her brother drive over when she called because she didn’t think I could take the news alone,” she said through tears.

The last communication she had with Davison was a text message while he was at a gas station around 11:00 p.m. in Virginia. He was complaining about cold toes, still wearing crocs from Florida because he “wasn’t giving up on vacation yet,” she said.

Accardi had no questions for Adele.


The jury of 12 and three alternates also viewed photographic evidence of the crime scene, analyzed by Maryland Police Sergeant Ryan Shaffer and Pennsylvania State Trooper Brian Hoop, who arrived on the scene while Davison was still breathing.

The prosecution showed the .44 caliber bullet casing found at the scene and questioned Hoop about finding it in the snow that morning. The bullet matched a Rossi Ranch Hand .44-caliber revolver found near Strawser’s property in Terra Alta, West Virginia. Ballistic experts are expected to testify later this week.

Fogal also played multiple 911 calls for the jury, where they had the chance to “hear Davison testify.”

The two calls, one in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania, soon after Davison crossed the border, detailed his panic as a stranger in a dark-colored Ford Ranger ran him into the median and circled back.

“He hit me – he pushed me into the median,” Davison told the dispatcher.

“Please hurry up,” he pleaded.


“He’s f***ing here,” he said, as apparent gunshots, squealing tires and then silence filled the line.

Following testimony, the jury left the courthouse to view the silver Mitsubishi Montero Davison had been driving that night. The vehicle is not to be considered as evidence, as Judge Carol Van Horn told them the condition could have changed over the years it had been in storage.

Expert witnesses, including the Franklin County coroner and a GPS analyst are set to open Tuesday’s court proceedings. Jamie Breese is scheduled to appear on the stand in the afternoon.

This story will be updated.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.