WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A jury found Ryan Daniels, Sr. guilty of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman outside of a Niles bar last year. Before the jury’s decision, something rare for a homicide trial happened — the accused took the stand in his own defense.
Ryan Daniels, Sr. swore to tell the truth, then explained what happened last February outside of Hideaway Lounge in Niles when 33-year-old Brittany Mazanec was shot and killed.
“The second time I tapped on the window, I’m not really sure how it happened but my firearm went off,” he said.
Daniels said there was a fight in the parking lot and the car Mazanec was driving was backing up. He was afraid she would hit someone and tried to stop her.
When Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker prosecuted him, Daniels would not say he killed her.
“So the gun you had caused the death of Brittany Mazanec, is that correct?” Becker questioned.
“I’m not going to say that,” Daniels replied. “I can’t, honestly, say that.”
Daniels’ attorney, Antonio Nicholson, of Cleveland, addressed the jury during closing arguments.
“We have always conceded from day one that he was negligent in taking his firearm over to that situation.”
It took the jury only an hour to find Daniels guilty on the two counts. He had been free on bond but was handcuffed Thursday and led off to jail.
When it was over, Mazanec’s family hugged each other. Later on, they told us they were pleased justice was served and it’s been a trying time.
“It’s been heartwrenching,” said Tammy Stone, the victim’s mother. “It’s been horrible. It’s taken every ounce of energy from my whole family.”
Mazanec was the mother of two young children.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen another tragic incident involving gunplay and misuse of a firearm, and it’s really a double tragedy,” Becker said.
Daniels will be back in court Wednesday for sentencing. He’s looking at a maximum of six years in prison.