60-year prison term returned in 2012 murder
A 47-year-old Rockdale man received a 60-year prison term Tuesday in 20th District Court after the judge rejected his claim of “sudden passion” in the shooting death of his 49-year-old girlfriend with a shotgun.
Stephen Lenard Daniell pleaded guilty in March 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 John Youngblood could have sentenced Daniell to a term anywhere between 5 and 99 years.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Daniell would have to serve one-half of his sentence, 30 years, before parole could be discussed.
PHONE CALL—Rockdale police said they were advised of the shooting when a neighbor called about 9:30 p.m.
“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.
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.