VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The day before he was set to go on trial before a jury, Donta Brown entered a guilty plea in the deaths of his grandparents.
Brown was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Edward W. Hanson Jr. on two counts of second degree murder, and will service 31 years and eight months in prison.
Brown's grandparents, 80-year-old Eugene McNeely and 84-year-old Mary McNeely, were found dead in their home in the 3900 block of Colonial Parkway in Virginia Beach on July 5, 2011. Brown lived with them.
The medical examiner determined that the McNeelys died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and torso and from being choked and strangled.
Brown was taken into police custody one day after his grandparents death on unrelated drug charges. Testing later revealed that Brown's DNA was found in the victims' blood at the scene.
According to a search warrant, on July 5 Brown called a family member and said he was leaving town suddenly. Later, Brown told his stepfather he was going to receive $70,000 in his grandparents will.
Brown was charged with two counts of first degree murder but Judge Hanson accepted the second degree murder plea agreement on December 10, 2012.
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