Man sentenced for evidence tampering in fatal hit-and-run

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An Oregon man was sentenced to four months in jail after pleading guilty to tampering with evidence in a fatal hit-and-run case in which authorities say his wife carried the victim on top of her car for 11 blocks before dumping the body.

Gary McDaniel entered the plea and was sentenced Thursday on the misdemeanor charge.

His wife, Isabel McDaniel, pleaded guilty last month to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

Gary McDaniel apologized during his appearance before Lane County Judge Jay McAlpin, The Register-Guard newspaper reported (

"I made a mistake," McDaniel said. "It was wrong, and I would do anything to take it back."

The bizarre hit-and-run occurred 14 months ago in Springfield, where police say the intoxicated Isabel McDaniel struck two pedestrians — Daniel Ortiz-Reynaga of Mexico and Julio Ortiz, the adult son he was visiting.

Authorities say McDaniel drove more than a mile with Ortiz-Reynaga on top of her car before removing him. Police found the man lying in the road after someone called 911 to report seeing the body.

He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Isabel McDaniel then drove to Gary McDaniel's workplace. He hid the car, drove his wife home in another vehicle and later used a trailer to take the car to the family's Veneta home, authorities said.

McDaniel acknowledged that he tried to rinse evidence from the vehicle.

Prosecutor Joann Miller sought a year behind bars for Gary McDaniel, the maximum for a misdemeanor.

"This was a whole other level," she told the judge. "There's tampering with evidence and then there is wiping brain matter off of a car and knowing your wife just killed someone."

McDaniel's defense lawyer John Volmert asked for his client to be sentenced to 20 days in jail, allowing him to keep his job as a mechanic and raise the couple's four young daughters.

The judge told McDaniel he felt sympathy for the children, but his behavior was egregious.

"There's no way you didn't know that you were covering up a homicide," the judge said.


Information from: The Register-Guard,