On Thursday, July 27, 2023 Philip Paul Manna III, 43, was found guilty of Driving While Impaired by Alcohol, Driving While Revoked, Driving on a Suspended License, Driving without the Required License, and Driving without an Ignition Interlock as Required.
During the course of a two-day jury trial before the Honorable Judge Alex Allman, evidence was presented that on May 19, 2023, a 911 call was placed by a concerned citizen who observed a vehicle driving erratically in the wrong direction of traffic at extreme rates of speed. The caller advised that the vehicle and its occupant stopped in the “Festival” parking lot in Bel Air, Maryland and that the driver, later identified as Philip Manna III, entered the Spirts & Wine Liquor store before losing sight of the vehicle. Harford County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tabler and Maryland State Police Trooper Dill responded to the registered address of the vehicle approximately ten minutes later and observed Manna seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with the running lights on and the driver’s side door open. When Deputy Tabler approached, Manna turned off the vehicle, threw the keys in the back seat and ran toward the residence, leaving an unopened bottle of vodka toward the back driver’s side wheel of the vehicle. Trooper Dill assumed the investigation and questioned Manna on his whereabouts prior to arriving at the residence. Manna indicated that he was coming from the Crazy Tuna restaurant and responded “I don’t know” when asked how much alcohol he had consumed that evening. Manna denied driving the vehicle and refused all standard field sobriety tests. However, Deputy Tabler and Trooper Dill detected the strong smell of alcohol, bloodshot, glassy eyes, and nervous behavior. Manna was placed under arrest for suspected Driving Under the Influence and transported back to the Maryland State Poice Barracks where Manna refused the DR-15 intoximeter test. Sentencing was scheduled for August 2, 2023 and Manna was remanded into custody.
In preparation for sentencing, it came to the attention of Assistant State’s Attorney Vincenzo Culotta, that on the evening of the first day of trial, July 26, 2023, Manna, still without a license, drove to a liquor store in Bel Air. State’s Attorney’s Office Investigator Christopher Gibbons was able to obtain surveillance footage from the liquor store confirming that Manna did, in fact, drive to the location and go into the store while actively being tried for the May 19th incident. Assistant State’s Attorney Culotta presented this information at the sentencing hearing on August 2, 2023, as well as information that Manna had three prior convictions for Driving Under the Influence or Impaired, as well as a previous conviction for Driving without an Ignition Interlock and Malicious Destruction of Property.
Judge Allman sentenced Manna under subsequent offender penalties to 7 years suspend all but 3.5 years of incarceration with the sentencing breakdown as follows:
Driving while Impaired by Alcohol – 5 years, suspend all but 3 years.
Driving while Revoked – 1 year, suspend all but 6 months.
Driving on a Suspended License merged into Driving while Revoked
Driving without Required License merged into Driving while Revoked
Driving without an Ignition Interlock as Required – 1 year suspended
The sentences in all counts were ordered to run consecutively to one another.
State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey thanks Assistant State’s Attorney Vincenzo Culotta for his diligence in pursuing justice and ensuring community safety in this case through his litigation of this trial. Further thanks are extended to Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Malkowski for her litigation of the suppression hearing in this matter. She also thanks Deputy Tabler and Trooper Dill for their efforts. “Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol is a senseless and completely preventable crime, while also being a crime that puts the lives of our entire community at risk. As a fourth time offender and given the egregious nature of the defendant’s behavior both during the incident question and while this trial was ongoing, it was imperative that he be removed from the community to ensure the safety of Harford County’s citizens. Our office will continue to pursue significant periods of incarceration for subsequent offenders of any crime that continuously put the citizens of our county at risk.”