Morro Bay man pleads guilty to manslaughter

July 8, 2020

Sean Maneely

A Morro Bay man, who had been facing a first-degree murder charge for stabbing to death a friend of his earlier this year, accepted a plea deal that will send him to prison for six or seven years on a manslaughter conviction. [Tribune]

On Jan. 25, Sean Maneely, 53, and  Andrew McTaggart, 58, began arguing loudly at a Morro Bay storage unit in the 1100 block of Allesandro Street. A physical fight ensued, and Maneely stabbed McTaggart in the chest.

McTaggart later died of his injuries.

Police officers arrested Maneely, and San Luis Obispo County prosecutors charged him with a single count of murder. Maneely initially pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to stand trial this week.

But last week, Maneely pleaded no contest to felony manslaughter, as well as to an enhancement for using a knife.

At an upcoming sentencing hearing, the defense and prosecution will argue whether or not a judge should strike the one-year sentencing enhancement Maneely faces.

If Judge Jesse Marino strikes the enhancement, Maneely is expected to receive a six-year state prison sentence. Maneely will likely receive a seven-year sentence if Marino upholds the enhancement.

Had Maneely stood trial and been convicted of first-degree murder, he would have faced 25 years to life in prison.

Maneely’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said the killing was an unfortunate incident involving two friends. His client was inside his storage unit playing music when he was approached by McTaggart and an altercation ensued, Funke-Bilu said of the incident.

The defense attorney also said McTaggart had past incidents of violence, which Funke-Bilu intended to present had the case gone to trial.

Maneely’s sentencing is scheduled for July 30. Maneely is currently being held in the SLO County Jail with no bail.

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This plea deal of only 6 to 7 years for a murderer sets a very bad precedent. I hope the victim’s family can find peace.

I hope the family of the victim sues owners of the storage unit for letting them be used as apartments. This has been going on for over a decade & been reported to the police on several occasions. The city of Morro Bay Has been looking the other way. Check police records, there have been calls to that address over the years. The owners of the storage unit knowingly let people live in those units.

Funke-Bilu comes through again.

Yeah, seriously…..

“Maneely’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu…” That’s all I needed to see- the whole rest of the article was entirely predictable once that was said.

From now on, CCN, in a case like this, just say that the defendant’s attorney was Funke-Bilu and move on to the next story. After you’ve identified Funke-Bilu as the defending attorney the rest is entirely predictable. Just save your time and ours.