Parents of murder victim Mears sue mistress, his killer
The parents of a Westmoreland County man brutally slain by a jealous husband in 2010 have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against their late son's mistress and his killer.
Lois and Harry Mears Jr. are the parents of Harry Mears III, 39, who was gunned down July 11, 2010, at his Southwest Greensburg home by Richard McAnulty, 56, of Indiana County. The lawsuit alleges McAnulty should not have been able to possess the .44-caliber Ruger handgun that he used to kill their son because of a 1977 conviction for kidnapping and raping an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Westmoreland County, alleges that McAnulty's wife, Carolyn Diane McAnulty, knew her husband was prohibited from owning firearms and purchased weapons for him.
In July, a jury took just 2 1⁄2 hours to convict McAnulty of first-degree murder in Mears' death. McAnulty is serving a mandatory life sentence.
The lawsuit seeks in excess of $150,000 in damages plus expenses for Mears' funeral and burial and "for the loss of contributions (Mears) would have made to the plaintiffs beginning at the time of his death until the end of his natural life expectancy."
Attempts to contact Carolyn McAnulty for comment on Friday at her home in Center Township, near Homer City, were unsuccessful.
A year before the murder, Mears had an affair with McAnulty's wife, who is known as Diane, according to testimony.
"On or about Jan. 27, 2000, defendant, Carolyn D. McAnulty, while she was married to ... defendant, Richard A. McAnulty, purchased a .44-caliber Ruger handgun from Joe's Guns and Ammo, located at 38 North Fifth St., Indiana, Pa.," says the 21-page lawsuit filed by the victim's cousin, Scott Mears, a Greensburg attorney.
The lawsuit alleges Carolyn McAnulty, 55, who attended every day of the trial and wept when jurors returned a guilty verdict, also purchased an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle for her husband.
According to trial testimony, McAnulty took the rifle the day that he drove to Southwest Greensburg to kill Mears.
Carolyn McAnulty "allowed said rifle to remain in an unsecured area often and in plain view and permitted the defendant, Richard A. McAnulty, to have unrestricted use of and access to said rifle," the lawsuit states.
District Attorney John Peck told jurors that McAnulty and his wife argued over her affair. Richard McAnulty drove more than 30 miles from his Indiana County home and broke down the door to Mears' home.
Testimony indicated McAnulty shot Mears in a leg as he dove out a second-floor window. Mears rolled onto a porch roof and fell to the ground. Horrified neighbors testified that McAnulty walked to where Mears was lying, stood over him as he pleaded for his life and shot him twice more.
The lawsuit alleges that Carolyn NcAnulty was negligent "in representing to the dealer of said firearms that she was the actual buyer of the firearms on applications of sale when she knew or should have known that the ultimate intended user, Richard A. McAnulty, was ... not permitted to own, possess or carry a firearm in Pennsylvania."
Although it is a crime in Pennsylvania for a person to knowingly purchase a firearm for a person who is not qualified to possess a firearm, Carolyn McAnulty was not charged.
Jurors convicted her husband of illegally possessing a firearm. In addition to his mandatory life term, Judge Debra Pezze sentenced him to a consecutive five- to 10-year sentence for the weapons conviction.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Charges advance for men accused in police scuffle at Fort Ligonier Days
- Hempfield man receives long-overdue Bronze Star for World War II service
- Longtime Greensburg District Judge Albert will seek fifth term
- Arnold man’s molestation conviction upheld
- Endowment of $3.49B makes University of Pittsburgh 25th richest in U.S.
- Westmoreland County settles with fired public defender
- Suspect in West Newton burglary sought; alleged accomplice arrested
- Braddock man held for trial in Jeannette assault, robbery
- Rostraver Democrat aims for 1 of 3 open spots on Westmoreland County bench
- 3 injured in 2-vehicle accident on Arona Road in Hempfield
- Rustic Ridge Mine permit request criticized