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Driver sentenced to eight years from 2018 Forest murder
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Driver sentenced to eight years from 2018 Forest murder

BEDFORD — A Lynchburg woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to being an accessory after the fact to a felony homicide after a robbery in September 2018 turned deadly.

Nadia La’sha McDaniel, 24, was sentenced to eight years in prison for her role in the killing of 22-year-old Aaron Brumfield at his Forest residence.

McDaniel was driving three other co-defendants around the night of Sept. 7, 2018, and finally took them to the River Oak Drive residence where Brumfield and a roommate lived for a robbery, according to evidence presented in the case.

McDaniel pleaded guilty in February to armed burglary, robbery and using a firearm in a felony, but pleaded not guilty to a felony murder charge. Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Stacey Stickney downgraded the felony murder charge to an accessory charge Tuesday.

McDaniel was taking direction that night from Trevor James McIntosh, a co-defendant whom she was in a relationship with at the time, according to Stickney. McIntosh and Tevante Deshaun Pannell, another co-defendant, both have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and other charges and both have been sentenced to 48 years in prison.

A third co-defendant, Robert Du’rille Goodman, pleaded guilty to his charges in May and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 3.

McDaniel had picked up the three men that night at McIntosh’s request but, while she overheard discussion of a robbery, didn’t think it would actually happen, her attorney Joseph Sanzone said at her hearing in Bedford County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Stickney refuted that, asking McDaniel about statements she’d previously made to investigators about McIntosh asking her that morning if she wanted to “hit a lick,” or rob someone, to which she said she did. Stickney also pointed out McDaniel had bought bullets earlier that night while the others bought masks, gloves and dark clothing.

Once at Brumfield’s house, the men scoped it out while in the car and McDaniel heard gunshots from within while she waited in the driver’s seat for about an hour total, Stickney said.

According to evidence presented at prior hearings, the men broke into the house through an unlocked kitchen window and tried to rob Brumfield’s roommate at first, who said he didn’t know what money they were demanding. Brumfield emerged from his room and the intruders shot at him while they fled the residence, striking him fatally in the chest.

Attorneys said Tuesday that McDaniel added to her own culpability when throwing out the masks after the robbery, and McDaniel acknowledged she didn’t turn herself or the others in afterward.

Brumfield’s family asked Judge James Updike for a harsher sentence than what guidelines have recommended in McDaniel’s case, saying his was a “senseless loss” and finding McDaniel’s involvement to be no different from her co-defendants.

Sanzone pressed for the lower end of recommended sentencing guidelines, questioning McDaniel’s family about how McIntosh “had a hold on her” at the time. He stressed her cooperation with law enforcement during the case, which Stickney acknowledged with the caveat that she only relayed the bare minimum of information at first.

McDaniel cried while apologizing to Brumfield’s family, and added she didn’t know him or the relationship between him and her co-defendants.

Updike sentenced her to eight years of active prison time, for which she’ll receive credit for time she’s served in jail since her arrest in 2018. She’ll need to be on supervised probation for five years, on good behavior for 10 years and was forbidden any contact with Brumfield’s family, his roommate or her co-defendants.

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