A Delhi man was sentenced to 10 years in prison — six for manslaughter and four for a firearm enhancement — for the shooting death of his 46-year-old son.
A Merced County jury found Daniel McDonald guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the April 9, 2011 shooting death of his son Donald McDonald. He was sentenced Friday in Merced County Superior Court to 10 years in prison.
The sentence handed down was not what Donald McDonald's wife, Sandra McDonald, was hoping for.
"I'm not happy with that...I thought he'd get more time for shooting his own kid," Sandra McDonald said.
Daniel McDonald's defense attorney, Frank Carson, also wasn't happy with the sentence and said his client plans to file an appeal.
"We're disappointed, but it could have been a lot worse," Carson said.
McDonald was facing the possibility of 20 years in prison.
Daniel McDonald was brought up on charges for the death of Donald McDonald after an argument over a broken chainsaw between father and son led to a violent confrontation that ended abruptly when Daniel McDonald shot his son once in the head. The shotgun round hit Donald McDonald in the back of his head near his left ear, according to the prosecution.
Carson claimed his client was often the victim of physical abuse at the hands of the son and that Daniel McDonald picked up the shotgun to defend himself. Daniel McDonald testified the shooting was accidental.
Sandra McDonald and friend Curtis Tipton were both present at the Delhi residence the night of the shooting and were called as witnesses during the trial.
Tipton testified the two men were arguing about a chainsaw and that the argument turned violent after Daniel McDonald told Sandra McDonald to “shut up.”
Daniel McDonald went into his home and tried to lock the three out. Father and son tussled at the front door, but Daniel McDonald was eventually able to bolt the door shut, Tipton testified.
Sandra McDonald testified Donald McDonald climbed through their bedroom window and was in the living room when a single shot was fired.
On the 911 call Daniel McDonald can be heard in the background admitting to the shooting and when Merced County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Griffith Avenue residence they found Daniel McDonald still clutching the smoking rifle.