The family of two Leavenworth brothers who were shot to death in 2011 is unhappy with a plea agreement that allowed their killer to be sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Despite the family's pleas for a longer sentence, a Leavenworth County judge followed the plea agreement's recommendations on Friday when he sentenced 37-year-old Aundray D. McDonald for two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
McDonald was originally charged with premeditated first-degree murder and first-degree felony murder in the Dec. 16, 2011 deaths of 25-year-old Derrick Jones and his 28-year-old brother, Marshall Jones, outside a Leavenworth barbershop. The shootings resulted from a feud between McDonald and the brothers.
The voluntary manslaughter charge suggests that McDonald had an honest but unreasonable belief the use of deadly force was justified the night of the shootings, The Leavenworth Times reported.
Mary Jones, the victims' mother, asked District Judge Gunnar Sundby to sentence McDonald to nothing less than 40 years in prison. Three other family members also asked for a longer sentence.
Sundby said he could impose a longer sentence only if he thought the prosecution acted in bad faith, but he didn't.
One family member screamed and left the courtroom after hearing that Sundby was following the plea agreement.
McDonald's attorney, Carl Cornwell, said his client wanted to resolve the case without going to trial. He also said there was a lot of evidence to support a self-defense claim.