Man gets life sentence in front-lawn killing of Virginia military couple

A man convicted of killing a Virginia military couple — both U.S. Army colonels — who were shot “execution-style” in the front lawn of their Springfield, Virginia, home in 2021, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ronnie Marshall, 22, was convicted of aggravated murder and two counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony during a trial in November 2022. In addition to his life sentence, Marshall received an additional eight years on the weapons convictions.

Prosecutors said Marshall was involved in a dispute with the son of Edward and Brenda McDaniel at the time of the killings. Col. Edward McDaniel, 55, was still on active-duty as an Army doctor. Brenda McDaniel, 63 was a retired Army colonel and a nurse.

“This is a completely egregious and senseless crime,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano told WTOP in an interview. “To take the lives of two people like the McDaniel’s like this for no good reason. And then to compound it, the defendant showed now remorse during the process. This really is one of the cases that calls out for a life sentence.”

Descano called the crime “every family’s worst nightmare.”

A few days before the shooting in late May 2021, Marshall broke into the McDaniel home on Flint Street in Springfield, but left the house after being chased away by Edward McDaniel, according to authorities.

Two days later, on May 26, Descano said Marshall showed back up at the house with another man — 20-year-old D’Angelo Strand — and confronted the couple, who happened to be walking their dogs in the front lawn at the time.

Descano said Marshall apparently became enraged that Edward McDaniel used his first name during the conversation, pulled out a gun and shot and killed the husband and wife.

“We believe that Marshall saw that as a sign of disrespect that helped trigger his shooting of both of the McDaniels,” Descano said. “But, again, it’s completely senseless, without any really good explanation as to why this happened.”

Before Marshall was sentenced, multiple family members provided victim-impact statements.

“It was so somber and so sad in that courtroom, just to hear the hole that the McDaniel’s death is leaving in that family’s lives,” Descano said.

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

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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