They give life sentence to the murderer of a military couple

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A man who had been charged with fatally shooting a Virginia military couple, both US Army colonels, on the front lawn of their Springfield, Virginia, residence in 2021, was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

Ronnie Marshall, 22, was convicted of aggravated manslaughter and other charges, including use of a firearm in the commission of a felony during a trial in November 2022.

In addition to life in prison, Marshall received an additional eight years for the use of weapons in a crime.

Prosecutors said Marshall had been involved in a dispute with the son of Edward and Brenda McDaniel at the time of the murders.

Colonel Edward McDaniel, 55, was still on active duty as an Army medic. Brenda McDaniel, 63, was a retired Army colonel and nurse.

“This is a completely heinous and senseless crime,” Steve Descano, the Virginia attorney for Fairfax County, said in remarks to the press. “He took the lives of two people like the McDaniels for no good reason. And then, to make matters worse, the defendant has shown remorse during the process. This is really one of the cases that demands a life sentence.”

The prosecutor described the crime as "the worst nightmare that any family could suffer, anywhere."

A few days before the shooting, in late May 2021, Marshall broke into the McDaniel home on Flint Street in the Springfield area, but left the home after Edward McDaniel gave chase, according to authorities.

Two days later, on May 26, Marshall again appeared at the house with another man, 20-year-old D'Angelo Strand, and confronted the couple, who were walking their dogs on their front lawn at the time.

The magistrate said Marshall was apparently enraged that Edward McDaniel used his first name during the conversation; then, he pulled out a gun and shot and killed the two husbands.

“We believe Marshall took that as the wrong sign of disrespect, that he helped shoot both McDaniels,” the prosecutor said. "But then again, it doesn't make any sense, without any really compelling explanation as to why this crime happened."

Before Marshall was sentenced, several family members provided statements about the shock the death of the two soldiers caused them.

"It was so somber and sad to hear in that courtroom the tremendous void that the death of the McDaniels is leaving in the lives of all the family members," the prosecutor said.

Strand, the other man arrested with Marshall after the shooting, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is still awaiting trial.

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