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Convicted killer pleads guilty to Pa. attempt

December 23, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Maryland man Tuesday pleaded no contest in Franklin County Court to attempted murder in the 1997 shooting of a Washington Township, Pa., man.

Ralph Manna, 60, formerly of Smithsburg, Md., has already been sentenced to life in prison in Maryland for a killing that occurred the same night he shot Richard Sanchez of 10984 Gehr Road.

Manna had been scheduled Tuesday for a non-jury trial before Judge William H. Kaye on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and burglary. Instead, he entered into the plea agreement during a brief hearing and was scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Attempted murder is a first-degree felony carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, District Attorney John F. Nelson said during the hearing.

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On the night of Jan. 6, 1997, Manna smashed the sliding glass door at the home of Richard and Candace Sanchez and shot the husband in the throat, torso and foot with a .45-caliber handgun, according to court records.

That night he also shot and killed Linda Delauter, 53, of Myersville, Md., and tried to kill Linda Grossnickle, 45, of Wolfsville, Md. He was arrested by Maryland State Police the next day.

Manna pleaded guilty last January in Frederick County Court to first-degree murder in Delauter's killing and to attempted homicide and a handgun violation in the attack on Grossnickle.

At the time of his plea in Maryland, Assistant State's Attorney David Callahan said the shooting spree was sparked by the breakup of Manna's relationship with Candace Sanchez.

Delauter and Grossnickle were friends of Manna's ex-wife, according to court records in Maryland.

Manna made no statement in court, but gave brief responses to questions posed by Kaye during the hearing.

He answered "Yes" when Nelson asked him if the reason he wanted to enter the no contest plea was "because you don't have a clear recollection of events that night.

The plea meant that Manna did not dispute the charges brought against him by police and prosecutors.

No victims were present in court.

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