Independence man convicted of murder after shooting girlfriend in back of head

Brandon A. McDaniel.
Brandon A. McDaniel.(Jackson County Detention Center)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 1:29 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (KCTV) - A man has been found guilty of murder after he shot his girlfriend in the back of the head during a fight inside an Independence apartment in 2020.

According to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, a jury found 27-year-old Brandon A. McDaniel guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He will be sentenced in September.

According to court documents, Independence officers went to the 9900 block E. 36th St. S. after receiving a call on Dec. 17 about a shooting that had occurred.

McDaniel’s mother called police, saying he had killed his girlfriend named Oriana Starr the day prior. They were arguing when Starr allegedly wrapped a cord around McDaniel’s neck. McDaniel then shot her. His mother said she had tried to get him to turn himself in.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Starr on the floor with a yellow extension cord at her feet.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and ruled Starr’s death “a homicide by a gunshot wound to the head.”

A second witness told police that McDaniel had told him about the murder and showed him the gun he used. McDaniel later sold that gun.

One of the witnesses asked McDaniel where he shot Starr and he said, “In the back of the head.” The witness told McDaniel that he couldn’t claim self defense if he shot her in the back of the head. When told that he should turn himself in, McDaniel replied, “I can’t do that. I’m not going back to jail.”

McDaniel was ultimately taken into custody on Jan. 8, 2021, in Newton, Arkansas.