DA considers death penalty for man charged in slaying of wife’s ex-lover
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said Wednesday he will review the transcript from a 1977 rape trial to determine whether he should seek the death penalty against an Indiana County man charged with killing his wife’s former lover in Southwest Greensburg earlier this year.
In court documents filed yesterday, Peck said he received the trial transcript this week that details the case in which Richard A. McAnulty was convicted of rape and kidnapping.
More than three decades after that trial, McAnulty, 54, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for the July 11 slaying of 39-year-old Harry A. Mears III.
Police contend McAnulty drove from his Center Township home to Southwest Greensburg, broke down the front door of Mears’ Oakland Avenue house and shot him three times as he tried to escape.
Peck has indicated he is considering seeking the death penalty against McAnulty. Last month, he received a one-month extension to review the case and make a determination.
Part of the review is McAnulty’s prior criminal record, which included a conviction for rape and kidnapping. An Indiana County jury in 1977 found McAnulty guilty of felony rape and kidnapping of an 18-year-old Indiana University of Pennsylvania student. Police said McAnulty forced her into his car at gunpoint and raped her on a dead-end road about two miles from campus.
Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze gave Peck until Dec. 4 to decide whether to seek the death penalty against McAnulty.