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Police: Man shot wife's ex-lover in Southwest Greensburg

| Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Indiana County man argued with his wife on Sunday before he drove to Southwest Greensburg and shot and killed her former lover, whom she had met on the Internet a few years ago, police said.

Richard A. McAnulty, 54, of 130 Streamview Drive, Center Township, was arraigned Monday before Greensburg District Judge James Albert on a criminal homicide charge.

McAnulty was jailed without bond for slaying Harry A. Mears III, 39, who was shot three times with a .44 Magnum handgun about 4:15 p.m. Sunday at his home at 615 Oakland Ave., police said.

Authorities said McAnulty kicked in the door at Mears' residence on the quiet, tree-lined avenue, then chased Mears through the house. Neighbors said Mears jumped out of a second-story window in an attempt to escape. He died shortly afterward at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg.

Borough police Chief Chris Kent said the killing is the first in the borough since at least 1940.

An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht showed that Mears was wounded in the chest, hip and right leg, said Paul Cycak, Westmoreland County chief deputy coroner. The victim was shot once inside the home and twice outside, police said.

Kent said the dispute between McAnulty and his wife, Carolyn Diane McAnulty, 54, "appears to be what set the husband off."

"He told her she had an hour to get her stuff out of the house, and she left within the hour," to go to a friend's home, Kent said.

Mears and Carolyn Diane McAnulty, who goes by her middle name and works as a secretary in the financial aid department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, became acquainted online before "they met in person," Kent said.

"It has every indication of being a romantic relationship" that ended about a year ago, Kent said.

"All she really did tell us, she knew the decedent, that there had been a relationship in the past," Kent said. "She really didn't tell us what depth there was in the relationship."

Among the items police seized from Mears' home were his computer and cell phone, according to a search warrant affidavit.

After the shooting, McAnulty returned to his home near Homer City and told a nurse who cares for his invalid mother there that "he had killed his wife's lover," according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The nurse, Kim Gray, called her boss, Theresa Bonatesta, who contacted state police at Indiana.

Gray told police that McAnulty had come home, "unloaded a gun, placed it on a table or chair and told her he killed someone," according to the affidavit.

McAnulty got on the phone and told police "the gun used was now unloaded and the cylinder was open," the affidavit said. "McAnulty told (police) he was standing on the porch and wanted to turn himself in peacefully."

He was taken into custody about 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the home. Police said they found a silver handgun on a chair and a rifle and several rounds of ammunition in the home.

The suspect is retired and last worked selling real estate. He was employed for about three years as White Township's code enforcement officer.

"He worked for us a while, and we let him go, " Township Manager Larry Garner said. He declined further comment.

Police said McAnulty and his wife were married for more than 30 years. They divorced briefly in the 1970s, then remarried.

In a June entry on her Facebook page, Diane McAnulty talks about a business she was starting with her husband.

"I'd like to let you know about a new adventure that Richard and I are beginning. We've finally launched our own website selling things from the surrounding ... area such as birch branches, nests, grasses, things from nature and of course craft items," she wrote. "Please take a look at the website and let us know what you think. Spread the word ... I'd love to see an order or two come in."

Mears, who was single, made a living selling items on eBay, neighbors said.

"The only thing I know, there was an UPS truck here about every day," said Joanne Fetter, who lives across the street.

She said if she awoke in the middle of the night, she often saw the light on in the front room where Mears kept his computer. "He must have slept during the day," Fetter said.

Neighbors sometimes saw Mears walking his beagle.

"He was very quiet," Fetter said. "He never really said all that much to us, just hello."

On Sunday, she heard a loud bang, then "fireworks-like sounds," she said. Then Mears came flying out the window.

"He was screaming. He was screaming (that) he was in pain," Fetter said.

Mears fell onto a small roof outside the window, then onto the ground.

Mears' father and a cousin, Scott Mears Jr., a Greensburg attorney, declined to comment.

Fetter's 88-year-old mother, Valeria Fetter, who has lived on Oakland Avenue for 63 years, can't remember a shooting in the community of about 2,200.

"Never. Never. We've had squabbles -- domestics -- but no shootings," she said.

Staff writer Chris Foreman contributed.

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