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‘Guilty’ plea in May, 2012 murder case

5-to-99-year sentence options in driveway shotgun slaying


Daniell Daniell A 47-year-old Rockdale man pleaded guilty Monday in 20th District Court to killing his 49-year- old girlfriend with a shotg un last spring.

St ephen Lenard Daniell entered a “guilty” plea to a charge of mu r de r before Judge John Youngblood in connection with the May 6, 2012, shooting death of Sheila Marie Owens, at the couple’s home, 804 North Wilcox, in Rockdale, according to Prosecutor Bill Torrey.

Judge Youngblood is scheduled to hand down a sentence during a 10 a.m. April 29 hearing in 20th District Court.

Torrey said the hearing will include the results of a pre-sentence investigation and will include testimony from both the prosecution and the defense.

“The judge will have a sentencing range of 5 to 99 years,” Torrey said. “Mr. Daniell is not eligible for probation.”

Torrey said the case was not one of capital murder, which would have carried a possibility of the death penalty.

Texas law specifies capital murder only in certain circumstances, including more than one murder, murder of a law enforcement officer and murder in the commission of another felony.

Torrey said any parole would be decided by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles “way down the road.”

PHONE CALL—Rockdale police said they were advised of the shooting when a neighbor called about 9:30 p.m. May 6.

“Mr. Daniell told us that he had shot his girlfriend and then walked down the street to the neighbor’s house and asked him to call police,” Lt. J. D. Newlin of the Rockdale Police Department said.

“Mr. Daniell then took us to her body on a sidewalk in front of their home,” Newlin said.

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Sam Berry pronounced Owens dead at the scene.

Police said Owens was leaving the residence when the shot was fired from the porch

“She was on a little sidewalk which led to where their vehicles were parked,” Newlin said.

Police recovered the 12-gauge shotgun involved in the shooting.

DISAGREEMENT—Newlin said the shooting followed a “verbal disagreement” between the couple.

“They had been in a relationship for about 10 years,” Newlin said.

Owens was the manager of the McDonald’s inside the Taylor Walmart. Daniell was a heavy equipment operator.


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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