Woman gets state time for church lot shooting

A Williamsport woman accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend outside a church last summer has been sentenced by a Lycoming County Judge to spend between 10 and 20 years in state prison.

Christina Marie Emerick, 23, of 1014 Dewey Ave., pleaded guilty Friday before President Judge Nancy L. Butts to attempted homicide, aggravated assault, possessing instruments of crime and recklessly endangering.

The victim, Christopher Downs, 28, reportedly was shot five times with a revolver by Emerick just before 6 p.m. last July 29 at the St. John’s-Newberry United Methodist Church parking lot.

Downs was treated for two collapsed lungs, as well as injuries to his liver, kidneys and head.

He continues to face additional treatment for his injuries.

Downs had testified in court that he and another woman were looking at a home he was thinking of buying on Second Avenue when Emerick pulled up behind his vehicle in her car.

Downs told Emerick that he wanted to take the woman who was with him back to her car parked in St. John’s-Newberry lot. Emerick followed him back to the lot, where the other woman got in her vehicle and left, according to Downs’ testimony.

Just two days earlier, Downs and Emerick had ended their five-year relationship.

After Downs got out of his car, Emerick began to ask him questions. Following the questioning, Emerick told Downs she was going to kill him, according to court testimony.

At that point, Emerick pulled out a gun and began firing at Downs. The shots were fired as various people were crossing the parking lot and entering the church, according to testimony.

After running out of ammunition, she began to beat Downs on the back of the head with the weapon saying she was going to kill him.

“Mr. Downs has never appeared to be coming from a place of vengeance,” Lycoming County Assistant District Attorney Aaron Biichle said. “He wants to move on with his life.”

As part of her sentencing, Emerick has been ordered by the court to pay restitution, an amount still being determined by the district attorney’s office.