McManus and Smith held for trial in Shane Kelly shooting death

Ryan McManus and Richard Smith were held for trial today in the November 2011 murder of Shane Kelly after a dramatic preliminary hearing.

A packed courtroom heard emotional testimony from Shane’s girlfriend, Mary Elise Doyne. She said the couple was walking home from a bar around 12:25 a.m. when, at Berks and Thompson streets, two men passed them, then turned around and announced a robbery.

“They told us to give them everything we had, to empty our pockets,” she recounted with a crumpled up tissue in her hand. One of the suspects pulled a t-shirt over his face, while the other brandished a small semi-automatic handgun. “I thought it was fake,” Doyne said. 

Having just ordered pizza, Doyne had her cell phone in her hand, so she called 911 while Kelly began to argue with the two men, yelling, “If you’re going to shoot me, shoot me,” she told prosecutors.

As Doyne was on the phone with a 911 operator, she saw a car driving down Thompson Street and flagged it down, she said. “I was laughing and joking and the next thing you know, a young girl jumped on the car – she almost came through the window – and she looked scared to death,” said passenger John Loftus.

Loftus said he immediately jumped out of the car and joined Kelly in chasing the now-fleeing suspects. The gunman, allegedly Ryan McManus, ran down Houston Street and, halfway through the block, turned and opened fire on the two men until the gun jammed, Loftus said. Kelly was fatally wounded.

“He never said nothing. He ran 10 to 15 feet and then just fell. I was like, ‘Dude, are you shot?’ But I just thought he was out of shape,” Loftus said.

Doyne was looking up at the street sign to figure out what hundred block she was on to give the 911 operator an exact address when she heard the shots. She immediately hung up and ran down Houston Street, where she saw Kelly lying in the middle of the road with a pillow a neighbor had placed over his stomach, she said.

Kelly had been shot in the abdomen, chest and thigh and later died at Temple University Hospital. Police found eight shell casings scattered from 1318 Houston Street to 1340 Houston Street.

Unaware of the tragedy, Loftus said he continued pursuing the suspect to Belgrade Street, where the suspect dove inside a house. Loftus said the police were there within 30 seconds and he pointed the house out to them when a man, later identified as McManus’ cousin Eric Bernakovich, came out and called him a “snitch.” 

“As soon as that guy said that to me, I said, ‘To hell with it. Let’s get out of here,’” Loftus said. He didn’t know that Kelly had even been shot until the next morning.

Barbara Gill, McManus’ aunt, said that she was in bed sleeping when she heard gunshots and looked down the street, where her kids usually hung out. “I heard a girl yelling, ‘Oh my god, they shot Shane,’” she said. Assuming it was a different Shane that was a friend of a family, she woke up her son, Bernakovich. McManus then came running through the house. “He ran right by me,” she said.

Perhaps the most damning testimony came from Bernakovich. He admitted to calling Loftus a snitch, then said he received phone calls from both McManus and Smith that night.

When he went to meet Smith, the man told him that he and McManus had “got into some s—,” Bernakovich said. “He said they was robbing somebody, some girl, I think, on Houston Street and she had been talking on the phone and that she laughed at them. Some dude came out and he chased them. … [Smith] said he heard gunshots as he ran.”

Smith also asked for a pair of sweatpants, Bernakovich said. Later that night, he said, McManus called him and said he was at a hospital. “He asked me where the dude got shot. I told him in the leg and chest. … He said, ‘I f—ed up.’”

The prosecution read back part of Bernakovich’s testimony to the Homicide Unit from that day: “‘He was saying he was at the hospital and to make sure no one snitches on him. I said, ‘They already know it’s you,’ … He said, ‘I tried to rob this girl and this guy just started chasing me. … Oh, s—, I f—ed up.’”

Bernakovich admitted to seeing McManus days earlier with a gun that he bought from “some lady.”

Smith’s defense also read back a portion of Bernakovich’s statement to homicide: “[Smith] was like, ‘Damn, Ryan is stupid for shooting that kid.’”

The lawyer claimed that detectives helped Bernakovich “fill in the blanks” of his story while he was giving the statement. He pointed out that Smith admitted to running the opposite direction, down Berks Street, and claimed that he had no knowledge that McManus had a gun prior to the robbery.

He argued to the judge, “In no way is Mr. Smith responsible for Mr. Kelly’s demise, and it’s tragic, but the law is the law.” He claimed that Smith could never have foreseen someone would chase the pair, or that McManus had a gun he would use to shoot somebody.

The judge didn’t buy it, siding with the Commonwealth, who argued that, because Smith participated in the armed robbery with McManus and because Kelly was shot while a suspect was fleeing to avoid apprehension for that crime, it was appropriate to charge Smith with second degree murder during the commission of a felony.

Both men were held for arraignment and trial. McManus is charged with murder.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Tracy Morgan sues Wal-mart over deadly crash

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a New Jersey federal court, alleging the retailer was negligent in connection with the…

International

Israel adds missile interceptor to counter rocket fire,…

Israel rushed an eighth missile interceptor battery into service on Saturday to counter stronger-than-expected rocket fire from Gaza as the military pounded positions in the…

National

Tommy Ramone, last original member of punk pioneers…

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died…

Local

NYPD: Suspect fleeing traffic stop shot by cop…

The NYPD said an officer temporarily reassigned for the Summer All Out program shot a suspect who slammed into two NYPD cars and hit a cop in Brooklyn.

Music

Tommy Ramone, last original member of punk pioneers…

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died…

Gossip

PHOTOS: Topless Cara Delevingne advocates for 'Free the…

Supermodel Cara Delevingne is never one to shy away from the gaze of social media. Yesterday, she chose to advocate for the 'Free the Nipple' campaign via Instagram, where she…

Gossip

PHOTOS: Axelle Despiegelaere AKA "most beautiful" fan gets…

Axelle Despiegelaere, the "most beautiful" soccer supporter of this year's World Cup, was fired by L'Oreal for a hunting photo on her Facebook account.

Television

Final season of 'Glee' will be only 13…

The final season of "Glee" will officially be only 13 episodes, instead of the usual 22.

NBA

GIF: LeBron James returns to Cleveland so deal…

To anyone out there who is upset about his decision, this .GIF is for you. Enjoy.

World Cup

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down…

By Philip PullellaVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

Wellbeing

Fart gas might prevent cancer

You might not like the smell, but fart gas might help prevent cancer.

Tech

Mesh sheds light on top 10 dating deal…

What are New Yorkers' top 10 dating deal breakers? Find out here.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…