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Probation followed standard procedures before murder/suicide

Despite legal restrictions and preventative measures taken prior to incident, Roy Adams acquired a gun and fatally shot himself and his ex-wife’s boyfriend

By Becky Metrick
Public Opinion

ANTRIM TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Before he committed Sunday’s murder and suicide, recent parolee Roy Alton Adams was not to be in possession of a firearm.

However, despite those legal restrictions and preventative measures taken prior to the incident, Adams acquired a gun and fatally shot himself and his ex-wife’s boyfriend, Thomas Olson. Police have not said how they think Adams got the weapon.

According to court documents, Adams was considered a person prohibited from owning a firearm during a December arrest, when he was found drunk driving with two firearms in his possession. Although he had previously held a conviction of misdemeanor assault and had previously been on probation, Adams was not being monitored at the time of the December arrest.

According to Daniel Hoover, the Chief Probation Officer at Franklin County Adult Probation, two federal firearms acts outlawed firearms possession to those who were fugitives from justice, if the offender had been ‘adjudicated as mentally defective,’ dishonorably discharged from the military or convicted of a misdemeanor in a domestic incident.

According to court documents, Adams was forbidden from possessing a firearm because of previous commitments to mental institutions.

Adams spent two and a half months in jail after pleading guilty to driving under the influence and illegally possessing the weapons, but upon preparing to re-enter the community, Franklin County Probation took steps to ensure he did not have any firearms when he was paroled.

“What we do is a standard process,” Hoover said. Prior to leaving incarceration, Adams had to do a Home Plan that was worked out with a probation officer at the jail. In making the plan, both the resident of the house and the landlord were spoken with, according to Hoover.

“There were not firearms at the house prior to parole,” Hoover said, adding that officers did a walk-through of the home.

According to the Pennsylvania Parole Handbook put out by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, parolees released into the community must check in with the area probation department within 24 hours to be in good standing. Then parolees are assigned a probation officer who is expected to help guide the parolee through programs and conditions of parole.

After Adams’ December arrest, he was paroled on April 2, only five days before the fatal shooting.

“He was scheduled to come in this week,” Hoover said, “that’s generally how the process works.”

Hoover said that parolees have to report to the office and meet with their probation officers there, but officers will also often go out to their homes, talk with neighbors and get a better sense of the parolee’s living situation.

To him, violations like the ones Adams committed were unusual.

“Very rarely do we see offenders that are violating for reasons involving firearms,” Hoover said. “It’s usually drug and alcohol issues.”