Manna gets 10 to 20 years

January 28, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Smithsburg, Md., man serving a life sentence for murder will have to serve another 10 to 20 years in a Pennsylvania state prison for attempted homicide if he is ever paroled in Maryland.

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Ralph Manna, 60, was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County for the Jan. 6, 1997, shooting of a Washington Township man. Manna pleaded no contest on Dec. 8, meaning he did not admit guilt but would offer no defense.

Despite a request by attorney Deborah K. Hoff for a concurrent sentence, Judge John R. Walker ordered it be served at the end of the life term Manna is serving for the murder of a Maryland woman on the same date.

"He will be nearly 80 years old before he's eligible for parole in Maryland," Hoff said before Walker handed down the sentence. She noted he had no criminal record before the night he shot Richard Sanchez at the victim's Gehr Road home.


Hoff said Manna was upset over the breakup of his relationship with Sanchez's wife, Candace, and he drank an entire bottle of tequila before the shootings began.

"Basically, you should spend the rest of your life in prison," Walker said.

He noted Manna smashed a sliding glass window and shot Sanchez four times at close range with a .45-caliber handgun.

"I'm way outside the guidelines," Walker said of the sentence. He said sentencing guidelines could have allowed him to impose a shorter prison term.

Manna pleaded guilty last January in Frederick (Md.) County Court to first-degree murder in the shooting of Linda Delauter, 53, of Myersville, Md. He also pleaded guilty to attempted homicide and a handgun violation for trying to kill Linda Grossnickle, 45, of Wolfsville, Md.

Both women were friends of Manna's ex-wife, who left him several months before the shootings.

At one point in the hearing, Manna told Walker he would trade his life if he could change the events of that night.

"You should have stuck the gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger ... but it's always easier to shoot someone else than it is to shoot yourself," Walker said.

Walker ordered Manna to pay almost $55,000 in restitution to Richard Sanchez. Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson said after the hearing that Sanchez was hospitalized for 10 days after the shooting, but "he had a lengthy, complicated recovery with subsequent hospitalizations required."

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