Prosecutors in the trial of a man accused of murdering a bar bouncer expected to rest their case Thursday, and public defenders say they will need at least a day and half to present their client's defense.
The prosecution was expected Thursday to call on expert testimony to rebut an argument by defense attorneys that defendant Ranale Mane suffered from alcoholic blackout the night of the killing. If convicted of the Dec. 20 slaying, Mane could be sentenced to death or life in prison.Attorney Michael Esplin, co-counsel with Stott Harston, said the defense plans to call at least six witnesses. Defenders hope to convince jurors that their client had consumed too much beer the night of the killing to be able to intentionally form a murder plan.
One Provo police officer testified Wednesday, however, that the defendant seemed in control of himself following his arrest two hours after the shooting. He said Mane wasn't drunk enough to be considered a threat to himself or others because of that condition.
Mane, 27, is charged with capital homicide, attempted second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault in the shooting death of Michael Ray Brown, a bouncer at the Silver Spur, 210 W. Center.
A second man charged in the shooting, Savelio Fuga, testified Wednesday that Mane was angry with bar bouncer Tom Tromley for throwing the men out of the Silver Spur approximately two hours before the shooting. He testified that the men drove to Fuga's house, where they retrieved a .45-caliber pistol.
Once Mane had the gun, Fuga testified, the defendant began issuing threats against several people.
"He said something like he was going to act like the Mafia," Fuga said. "At that time he was a different person to me. (But) he was thinking clearly. He knew what he was doing."
The two men picked up a mutual friend, Lene Tauiliili, and they returned to the Silver Spur. "He said to us, `You guys open your mouths . . . and I'm going to kill you,' " Fuga testified.
When they had parked about a block west of the bar, he said, Mane ordered Tauiliili to enter the Silver Spur to see if Tromley was still working. The defendant became angry when Tauiliili returned to the car and told him he couldn't be sure whether Tromley was there.
"He said to Lene: `You're such a rookie. I'm almost going to kill you.' He was furious," Fuga said. As Mane left the car and headed toward the Silver Spur, Fuga testified that he said, "You leave me here and I'm going to come back and shoot you both."
Fuga said he heard several shots and Mane returned to the car a few minutes later. "As we drove off in a hurry, he told us he shot Tom the bouncer. He seemed like he was so macho at that time."
A capital homicide charge against Fuga, who pleaded guilty in January to attempted second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault, will be dropped in exchange for his testimony. Tauiliili, who will be tried April 18, faces the same charges as Mane.
Mane seemed under the influence of alcohol following his arrest two hours after the shooting, but was in control of his faculties, Provo officers testified. Officer Stan Eggen said Mane, questioned at the police station, denied remembering anything about the shooting.
"I definitely believe he was under the influence of alcohol, but not intoxicated," Eggen testified. "I would not have arrested this person for public intoxication" because he didn't seem to be drunk enough to be a threat to himself of others.