MARIANNA, Fla. -- One of the men suspected of killing a sheriff's wife and a deputy also was a suspect in his own wife's death, a prosecutor said yesterday.
Florida State Attorney Steve Meadows yesterday named Lionel Sands, 60, and Daniel Brown, 54, as the men who fatally shot Mellie McDaniel and deputy Harold Michael Altman on Tuesday.
Sands and Brown were wearing disguises and carrying plastic restraints, bleach, vinegar, and latex gloves in the attack at McDaniel's home in the Florida Panhandle, Meadows said.
McDaniel was the wife of Jackson County Sheriff John McDaniel.
Sands and Brown themselves were shot and killed by police responding to the attack, including the sheriff, Meadows said.
Sands and Brown targeted the McDaniels's home, but officials did not know the motive for the killings, Meadows said.
Sands was considered the primary suspect in the June 2001 death of his wife, Gail Joanne Sands, according to Meadows and a March 2006 lawsuit by her life insurance company,
He was never been charged in that case, in which Gail Sands died of a blow to the head. Her body was found at the bottom of the couple's swimming pool.
On Tuesday, Mellie McDaniel told her husband over a radio phone that she was being followed home from grocery shopping, and at one point she screamed, Meadows said.
The sheriff called for help and Altman arrived at McDaniel's home within two minutes, Meadows said. The sheriff and other officers then arrived and got into a gunfight with the suspects, Meadows said.
It was unclear whether the sheriff fired any of shots that killed the suspects.