ELKTON -- A Port Deposit-area man received consecutive sentences of life without parole yesterday for the shotgun murders early this year of his wife and 8-year-old daughter .
Prosecutors said the shooting stemmed from Daniel Floyd Hanby's unwillingness for his wife to divorce him. Hanby, 37, pleaded guilty to the double murder June 31 in Cecil Circuit Court.
Court and police records show that Hanby bought a 12-gauge shotgun from an Aberdeen business Dec. 31 and used it four days later to kill his wife, 32-year-old Penney Jackson Hanby, and their daughter, Deanna Lynn. He shot himself in the stomach, then called a county emergency number for help.
Hanby confessed to the crimes while hospitalized at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was later transferred to Union Hospital here.
Upon his release Jan. 24, he was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Before imposing the sentence yesterday, Circuit Judge Edward D. E. Rollins heard a psychologist and a psychiatrist testify for the defense that Hanby suffers from a mental disorder that causes him to hear voices, have delusions and suffer frequent breakdowns in his logical thinking. The experts stopped short of concluding that Hanby was not criminally responsible for his actions, however.
The tragic events of last January were not the first sign of a troubled marriage for the Hanbys.
Court records show that Penney Hanby had filed a battery charge against Daniel Hanby in June 1991.
The case was put on the inactive docket -- meaning that it was never prosecuted -- after Daniel Hanby agreed to get psychiatric help.
Shortly before the battery charge was placed on the inactive docket, Cecil County District Judge James C. McKinney issued an order intended to protect Penney Hanby from domestic violence.
"I did everything under the sun to help the situation," Judge McKinney said in an interview shortly after the murders. "There's no way that you can Monday-morning quarterback this and say you could have seen it coming."
Investigators said that Hanby had a history of domestic violence, including allegations of an attempt to kill his first wife and daughter 13 years ago.