Accused killer won’t testify in Charlotte County murder trial
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Accused killer David McMannis changed his mind about plans to testify in his own trial.
David McMannis had been expected to take the stand to defend himself against accusations he killed 19-year-old Tara Sidarovich, but he told a judge Tuesday he had a change of heart. The case will go to the jury on Wednesday, meaning a saga that’s stretched nearly 16 years could be nearing an end.
Sidarovich was home alone waiting for a plumber in 2001 and disappeared. Her remains were found nine months later in the woods off Burnt Store Road, deputies said. Phillip Barr was convicted for his involvement in the murder in 2015.
The judge on Tuesday dismissed a motion for acquittal from defense attorney Michael Bross after the defense had already rested its case. The defense called the state’s case circumstantial at best and cited a lack of physical evidence linking McMannis to the murder.
But prosecutors said that’s not the case, arguing they’ve offered more than enough evidence to go to jury.
The judge agreed with the prosecutors, ending the defense’s last-ditch effort to get the case thrown out.