[Hpn] Verdict reached on Billy's camping trial - Sacramento Bee article

paula farrell paula_95814@yahoo.com
Sun, 29 Sep 2002 12:47:45 -0700 (PDT)


In second trial, homeless man is convicted of illegal
camping
By Robert D. Dávila -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Saturday, September 28, 2002
The city of Sacramento won a conviction Friday in the
second trial of a homeless man charged with illegally
camping on the American River Parkway.

Jurors deliberated less than four hours before finding
William "Billy" McManus guilty of two misdemeanor
counts of violating the city's anti-camping ordinance.
In a widely reported case, another jury last month
acquitted the 49-year-old man on a third charge of the
same offense but deadlocked on the two counts decided
Friday.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Gail D.
Ohanesian sentenced McManus to 30 days in the
sheriff's work project and three years of informal
probation. The judge noted McManus was found guilty
twice last year of illegal camping and had two prior
drug convictions.

At defense attorney Kelly J. Tanalepy's request, the
judge stayed the sentence pending appeal. A hearing is
set for March

Tanalepy, who called no witnesses during the three-day
trial, said the verdict was "not a surprising result"
because the judge refused to let her argue that
McManus slept in the parkway because he had no place
else to go. She predicted Ohanesian's ruling on the
"necessity" issue, which the attorney used
successfully at her client's trial last month, would
be overturned on appeal.

City Attorney Samuel L. Jackson prosecuted the
politically charged case, which challenged a recent
crackdown on homeless people who camp illegally in the
parkway. Jackson declined comment after the verdict
Friday.

Park rangers testified that they cited McManus after
finding him surrounded by 500 pounds of equipment and
a 10-foot pile of garbage near Camp Pollock. Tanalepy
said no evidence was produced at trial that her client
spent the night in the parkway. 
 

About the Writer
---------------------------

The Bee's Robert D. Dávila can be reached at (916)
321-1077 or bdavila@sacbee.com.


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