September 13, 2013

Delhi father sentenced to 10 years in son's fatal shooting

A 68-year-old man convicted of voluntary manslaughter for shooting his son to death was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.

Daniel McDonald fatally shot his son, Donald McDonald, 46, during an argument at a Delhi residence on April 9, 2011. A jury of eight women and four men found Daniel McDonald guilty last month on the voluntary manslaughter charge, in addition to an enhancement for use of a firearm. He was found not guilty of first degree murder.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Ronald Hansen sentenced Daniel McDonald to the mid-term of six years on the manslaughter charge, and the mid-term of four years on the firearm enhancement. Deputy District Attorney Thomas Min said Daniel McDonald will be eligible for parole after serving a little over eight years in state prison.

The prosecution during trial claimed Daniel McDonald deliberately killed his son after a heated argument, but the defendant maintained the weapon accidentally discharged.

Frank Carson, who was Daniel McDonald’s attorney, during trial argued that the son had a history of violent acts and making threats toward his father.

Daniel McDonald testified he picked up the rifle in self-defense after his son became angry and threatened to kill him. Daniel McDonald said the rifle went off after his son grabbed its barrel. The prosecution took issue with the father’s version of events, saying the victim's head wound was back-to-front. Min also said the victim’s body was positioned on the floor near the front door -- as if he were about to leave the residence when he was shot.

Some jurors said they convicted Daniel McDonald of manslaughter because it was unclear who was the aggressor in the deadly fight between father and son.

-- Sun-Star staff

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