Independence man faces murder charge

By The Examiner staff

An Independence man faces a murder charge after he allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend when she tried a wrap a cord around his neck during a fight inside her Independence apartment last December. 

Jackson County prosecutors Friday charged Brandon McDaniel, 26, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of 22-year-old Oriana Starr. He was arrested in January in the northeast Arkansas town of Newport. 

According to court documents, McDaniel’s mother called Independence police on Dec. 17 and said her son had killed Starr the day before during an argument. Police found Starr on the floor of her apartment with an extension cord at her feet. 

One witness said McDaniel told her that he stayed at Starr’s apartment one night, they got into a fight the next morning and McDaniel shot her in the back of the head because she tried to choke him. When the witness told McDaniel he should turn himself in, he said, “I can’t do that. I’m not going back to jail.” 

Another witness said McDaniel showed him the gun he’d used and had since sold the weapon and changed his appearance. 

According to court records, McDaniel pleaded guilty in April 2018 to robbery, concealing a deadly weapon on a bus and unlawful use of a weapon from an incident the previous year. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was out on parole at the time of the shooting. 

Police later learned McDaniel was in Newport, Arkansas, and officers there arrested him. 

Prosecutors requested a $250,000 bond.