Manna pleads not guilty

September 03, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Convicted murderer Ralph Manna pleaded not guilty in Common Pleas Court here Wednesday to charges related to the shooting of a Washington Township, Pa., man in the victim's home on Jan. 6, 1997.

Manna was charged in Pennsylvania with attempted murder, aggravated assault and burglary, said Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson.

That same night he fatally shot Linda Delauter, 53, of Myersville, Md., when she opened her front door, according to court records. Minutes earlier he fired three shots into the home of Linda Grossnickle, 45, of Wolfsville, Md., but failed to hit her, court records said.

That same night, the home of Richard and Candace Sanchez, of 10984 Gehr Road in Washington Township, was broken into and Richard Sanchez was shot in the throat, torso and foot, according to court records. Sanchez survived the shooting.

Manna and Candace Sanchez had a brief relationship, court records said. He became angry when she told him on the night of the shootings that she was going back to her husband, court records said.


Richard and Candace Sanchez were in the basement of their home when a man smashed through the sliding glass door and fired shots, according to court records.

In Maryland, Manna, 59, of Smithsburg, pleaded guilty in Frederick County Circuit Court on Jan. 29 to first-degree murder in Delauter's death. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murder and a handgun violation in the incident involving Grossnickle, according to court records.

He was sentenced to two life terms on March 25, and will not be eligible for parole for 18 years, according to court records.

Manna told police he was angry at the women and at Delauter's husband, Charles, because they had supported his wife, Barbara, in her decision to leave him in August 1996, according to court records.

Nelson represented the state during Wednesday's arraignment before Common Pleas Judge John Walker. Manna was represented by the Franklin County Public Defender's Office.

He was being held on a detainer from Maryland in the Franklin County Prison pending the outcome of his case in Pennsylvania.

Walker continued Manna's case to the November term of court.

His trial will be set within 30 days of jury selection on Nov. 16, Walker said.

Nelson said that even if Manna were convicted and sentenced in Pennsylvania, he would be returned to Maryland to serve out his sentence there before he would begin serving any Pennsylvania prison time he may get.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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