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posted: 3/5/2010 12:01 AM

Cops' attorney: Shooter should face more serious charges

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  • Maureen Manos

    Maureen Manos


An attorney representing two Glendale Heights police officers said Thursday the woman who shot one of them should face more serious charges.

The two officers, identical twin sisters, are on paid leave while the Jan. 30 incident at their Wayne home is being investigated. A third woman, Maureen A. Manos, whom both officers described in legal records as their girlfriend, is facing reckless discharge of a firearm charges.

The 47-year-old Carol Stream woman is accused of shooting officer Jennifer Marcellis in the upper right arm after a quarrel ensued between the two in the home the victim shared with her sister, Janelle. Manos, who has pleaded not guilty, said the gun went off accidentally.

But the sisters' attorney, Laura Scarry, said Manos went to the Wayne home with a concealed weapon and intentionally shot Jennifer Marcellis as the officer turned to walk away. Scarry said both sisters told Manos she was not welcome at their home. The attorney also suggested the officers' sexual orientation may be a factor in how the investigation is being handled.

"Despite the brutal and unprovoked nature of the attack, Manos has been charged with nothing more serious than reckless discharge of a firearm," Scarry wrote in a statement to the Daily Herald. "Yet Manos went to the Marcellis residence with the concealed firearm and intentionally shot Jennifer. Her actions constituted aggravated battery or attempted murder; precisely which offense she committed should be decided by a jury.

"Nevertheless, the seriousness of the offense should never be lessened by the sexual orientation of the victim."

Scarry could not be reached for additional comment.

The 31-year-old officers, whom Scarry said are "highly regarded," are nearly 10-year veterans. Jennifer Marcellis remained hospitalized until Jan. 31 so doctors could replace a damaged artery in her arm with one from her leg. The officer suffered serious nerve damage and has lost sensation in her right hand and fingers, her attorney said.

DuPage State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said the gun used in the shooting was not a service weapon. He confirmed both officers were placed on paid leave as the investigation continues.

Detectives with the DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force were called in to investigate the shooting, which occurred after Janelle Marcellis returned from attending a retirement party at a Clarendon Hills restaurant for a high-ranking member of the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

Scarry said an "angry" Manos confronted Janelle in the restaurant parking lot, but the officer avoided the confrontation and left for home. Manos arrived at the officers' residence shortly later, and ignored Janelle Marcellis' request for her to leave, Scarry said.

Jennifer Marcellis then arrived, and a dispute ensued after Manos refused to leave, Scarry said. She disputed earlier law enforcement accounts that several guests from the retirement party were at the Wayne residence.

"No more than three people were in the residence at any one time; the homeowners, Janelle and Jennifer Marcellis, and Maureen Manos, who had not been invited to the home," Scarry said in the statement.

Janelle Marcellis called 911 at 2:45 a.m. Jan. 30 to report Jennifer had been shot. The sisters sought protective orders on Feb. 3 barring Manos from having contact with them.

Neither Wayne Police Chief Dan Callahan nor Glendale Heights Police Chief Michael Marron have responded to calls for comment. A Daily Herald Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the police report also was denied because disclosure could "obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation," the denial response said.

Wheaton attorney Timothy Martin, who represents Manos, said she maintains her innocence. Martin characterized the incident as an accident. He said the gun discharged while lying on its side on a kitchen counter.

Manos, a mental health technician, is free on a $50,000 bond. She does not have a violent criminal history.