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Southwest Greensburg shooting suspect still needs attorney, he tells judge

| Friday, July 23, 2010

An Indiana County man accused of killing his wife's former lover told a district judge Thursday that he needs to delay his preliminary hearing for a few days so he can get an attorney.

Richard A. McAnulty, charged with criminal homicide in the July 11 shooting death of Harry A. Mears III, 39, in Southwest Greensburg, told Senior District Judge Robert Scott that he contacted a law firm but did not formally hire counsel.

"I don't know if I can afford it," McAnulty told Scott, who was specially presiding for Greensburg District Judge James Albert. "I'm not a wealthy individual."

Authorities allege that McAnulty, 54, of 130 Streamview Drive, Center Township, broke down the door to Mears' home at 615 Oakland Ave. He then shot Mears, who attempted to flee through a second-story window, three times with a .44 Magnum handgun, police said.

Authorities believe one shot struck Mears inside the home and two other bullets hit him outside. He died minutes later at Excela Health Westmoreland hospital in Greensburg.

The suspect's wife, Carolyn Diane McAnulty, 54, a secretary at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was involved in a romantic relationship with Mears that ended about a year ago, authorities said.

On the day of the shooting, McAnulty argued with his wife over an e-mail she had received from Mears, investigators said. He drove in his pickup truck to Southwest Greensburg with a rifle and handgun inside the vehicle, authorities said. Police have seized computers from both residences.

A woman described as McAnulty's girlfriend attended yesterday's hearing.

In addition, he was charged this week with being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a weapon without a permit. The one charge stems from his jury conviction in the 1976 rape of an IUP coed at gunpoint.

The well-spoken McAnulty told Scott that he believed he could hire counsel "in the next few days." He said he wanted to hire good counsel "so I can ... have a fair trial."

McAnulty apparently doesn't meet financial requirements to qualify for a county public defender.

District Attorney John Peck, flanked by three detectives from his office and Southwest Greensburg police Chief Chris Kent, told Scott that he had no problem with the request for a continuance.

McAnulty did not comment to reporters outside the courtroom.

According to court papers, he picked up a hitchhiker en route to Southwest Greensburg. The hitchhiker, Jevon Little, said he saw part of a handgun under clothing in the truck, police said. Little said McAnulty acknowledged having a rifle in the truck after Little heard a thud.

Little was not present during the shooting, but the pair drove past Mears' home before Little was dropped off, authorities said.

McAnulty is being held in the county prison without bail.

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