HAGERSTOWN, Md. – The remains of an Army veteran convicted of stabbing an elderly couple to death were interred at Arlington National Cemetery (search) with full military honors.
Russell W. Wagner (search), 52, died Feb. 2 in prison, where he was serving two consecutive life sentences for the Valentine's Day 1994 killings of Daniel Davis (search), 84, and Wilda Davis (search), 80. Both were bound and repeatedly stabbed.
Wagner's cremated remains were inurned July 27 at the request of Wagner's sister, Karen Anderson, Arlington spokeswoman Lori Calvillo said.
When told by the (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail that Wagner had been convicted of killing two people, Calvillo said, "That would usually prevent you, to tell you the truth," from having a service at Arlington.
She added that if the cemetery received confirmation of Wagner's conviction, the records would be forwarded to the Army General Counsel, which reviews rules for the cemetery.
Vernon Davis, the son of the couple Wagner killed, is himself an Army veteran and was disturbed to hear that his parents' convicted killer was given military honors.
"It disturbed me when I heard it," he said. "I thought it was completely wrong."
The sister, Anderson, could not immediately reached for comment. There was no listing under her name in Silver Spring, where her brother's obituary said she lived.
Prosecutors said Wagner killed the Davises to settle a debt of back rent he owed to their son-in-law. He was tried on murder charges in 1996, but a mistrial was declared when jurors could not reach a verdict.
He was arrested again in 2001 after FBI scientists obtained DNA from a single strand of hair found on a glove recovered from a neighbor's back porch. He was convicted in 2002.