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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • McDonald pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

  • A Lansing man who had been charged with two counts of murder for a 2011 shooting in Leavenworth has pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
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  • A Lansing man who had been charged with two counts of murder for a 2011 shooting in Leavenworth has pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
    Aundray D. McDonald, 37, entered the plea late Friday afternoon in Leavenworth County District Court. He also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
    The charges stem from a Dec. 16, 2011, incident that resulted in the deaths of Derrick and Marshall Jones.
    The brothers were shot in a parking lot outside of a barbershop at Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue. They were driven from the scene by a friend, but the car crashed in a park at Spruce and Seventh streets.
    Derrick, 25, was pronounced dead at the crash scene. Marshall, 28, died at a hospital.
    McDonald had been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and first-degree felony murder for the deaths of the Jones brothers. The case had been scheduled to go to trial Monday.
    The charges were amended Friday as part of a plea agreement. Under the terms of the plea agreement, there will be a recommendation for a prison sentence of 221 months, or more than 18 years.
    "I'm not bound by that agreement," District Judge Gunnar Sundby told McDonald Friday.
    But the judge said he had no reason for why he wouldn't follow the recommendations.
    County Attorney Todd Thompson said after court Friday that the plea to the voluntary manslaughter charges indicates McDonald had an unreasonable belief that use of force had been necessary. Thompson said there was evidence that a weapon was inside the vehicle the Jones brothers took the barbershop parking lot.
    According to the county attorney, the mother of McDonald's child had gotten into an argument with McDonald Dec. 16, 2011, over visiting the child. The mother of the child was dating Derrick Jones at the time. During the course of text messaging and an eventual phone call that day, Derrick Jones and McDonald arranged a fight, leading to the incident outside the barbershop.
    Evidence showed that Derek Jones was shot twice and Marshall Jones was shot once by a 9 mm firearm. Evidence also showed that McDonald's handgun was fired six times.
    Thompson said he believes the plea agreement was a fair resolution to the case. He said the agreement had the approval of the victims' family. He said law enforcement officers involved in the case also were pleased with the plea.
    As part of the plea agreement, a charge of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle was dismissed. An unrelated drug case against McDonald also was dismissed.
    Sentencing is scheduled for April 26.
    McDonald already is serving a prison sentence for attempted aggravated battery because his Johnson County probation in that case was revoked, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections website.
    Page 2 of 2 - Cornwell said McDonald has been serving his sentence at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility and wishes to go back there while he awaits sentencing.
    "He's in classes in Ellsworth and would like to get back there," Cornwell said.
    Sundby said McDonald would be allowed to go back to the prison.
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