A lawyer once cited for shooting a pheasant hunter reported finding a man's body near his property but never told police that he had fired a high-powered rifle nearby, prosecutors said yesterday in filing involuntary-manslaughter charges.
Lawyer David Manilla was hunting in Bucks County last month with his uncle - a former district attorney - and a friend when he mistakenly shot the hunter with the banned rifle, a police affidavit states.
All three men approached the downed victim, who had fallen into a creek, but none used their cell phones to call 9-1-1 until they returned to Manilla's residence, officials said. When police arrived, the trio stood silent when an officer wondered if the hunter had had a heart attack, officials said.
Manilla was detained yesterday in lieu of $2 million bail and did not enter a plea in the killing of the hunter, Barry Groh, of Quakertown. Manilla had previously been cited for the 1994 shooting of the pheasant hunter and was barred from possessing a weapon because of a 1985 felony assault conviction.
Groh, 52, was waiting for help transporting an eight-point buck he had killed the morning of Nov. 29, the first day of deer-hunting season, when the rifle shot tore through his aorta.
The investigation, though, has taken weeks to piece together, as Manilla gave conflicting information over four interviews. His uncle, former Montgomery County District Attorney Michael Marino, eventually admitted he had not disclosed everything he knew, according to the affidavit. Authorities do not believe that Marino or the friend, Robert Monestero, broke any laws.
"Does it paint a tawdry picture? Yeah," Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said. "But it's not a crime that I can see."