No death penalty for suspect in homicide case
PUNTA GORDA — Prosecutors won’t seek the death penalty against David Ray McMannis, one of two men charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2001 death of Tara Sidarovich.
Shannon Doolity, head of the Charlotte County State Attorney’s Office, said a review committee examined McMannis’ case and made the decision. Prosecutors have not announced whether they’ll seek the death penalty against the other suspect, Phillip Gavin Barr.
McMannis, 39, went before 20th Judicial Circuit Court Judge George Richards on Wednesday for a case management conference at the Charlotte County Justice Center. McMannis’ next court appearance is May 2.
McMannis is being held in Lee County, while Barr, 43, is being held in the Charlotte County Jail. A court bailiff said the defense did not want the two men held at the same facility.
McMannis and Barr reportedly were the last people to see 19-year-old Sidarovich alive when they went to her family’s Westwood Drive home in Punta Gorda to give an estimate for septic repair work. Authorities say McMannis and Barr kidnapped Sidarovich, killed her, and disposed of her remains in a wooded area east of Burnt Store Road.
Both men originally were considered suspects in the crime but were not charged until late 2012.
Assistant State Attorney Andreas Gardiner said there were more than 6,000 pages of evidence in the case.
A former girlfriend of Barr’s, Linda Faye Dille, was charged in November with two counts of felony perjury after investigators said she lied about cellphone calls between her and Barr on the day of Sidarovich’s disappearance. Dille is free on $5,000 bond.
Barr and Dille are scheduled to be arraigned Friday.