Man Gets Life Sentence in Killings of Highly Decorated Military Couple in Virginia – NBC4 Washington

A man was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday for gunning down a highly decorated military couple outside their home in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Ronnie Marshall was found guilty last year of shooting Dr. Edward McDaniel and Brenda McDaniel to death in the driveway of their Springfield home on May 26, 2021.

Marshall, then 20, had worked with the victims’ son at FedEx and had accused his coworker of stealing from him, police said.

Two days before the McDaniels were slain, Marshall broke into the family’s home, where Edward McDaniel met him with a shotgun and ordered him to leave.

But, prosecutors said, Marshall returned days later and killed the couple because he didn’t want them to identify him to police. The McDaniels’ son testified last week he watched out the window as Marshall approached the couple but ran to a bathroom for his safety when he heard gunfire.

Loved ones tearfully testified Friday about the devastating impact the murders had on their family.

“To this day I’m in shock and disbelief that this horrendous murder happened to me and my family,” Edward McDaniel’s sister Melodie McDaniel, testified in court on Friday. “His actions were nothing but pure evil. … I will have to live with this emptiness my entire life.”

Edward McDaniel’s mother Felice said her son was her rock and advisor in her battle against stage four breast cancer.

“Edward will not be there to hold my hand at my end of my life and make me feel comforted and loved,” she told the judge.

The judge gave Marshall the maximum sentence of life without parole for the murders in addition to eight more years on two gun charges.

“It’s just an incredible loss. I mean, we’re talking about the McDaniel famly who spent their lives and their careers helping others, serving others,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said.

During the trial, Marshall’s attorney questioned whether the masked gunman who shot the couple really was his client.

A jury found Marshall guilty in November of aggravated murder and two counts of use of a firearm in a murder. Aggravated murder applies when two or more people are killed in the same incident, prosecutors said.

“This was a highly emotional and tragic case that ended the lives of two respected members of the Army and our community,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said after Marshall was found guilty. “Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel were killed in their own driveway while taking their dog for a walk.”

“While there are no winners in a case like this, I’m glad Mr. Marshall is being held accountable for his crimes, and I hope this conviction brings some level of closure to the McDaniel family,” Descano said.

Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter Drew Wilder reports on a couple murdered outside their Springfield home.

In the immediate aftermath of the killings, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said, “We’ve lost two brave, dedicated, life-long servants to our country. Two full colonels were murdered in a residential neighborhood community.”

Col. Edward McDaniel, 55, was an internal medicine doctor in the Army from June 1995 to May 2021. He was director of executive medicine at Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital, authorities have said. Col. Brenda McDaniel, 63, was a medical-surgical nurse in the Army from September 1983 to September 2009 and had retired.

 D’Angelo Strand, then 19, was also charged in the case and testified for the prosecution against Marshall.