Convicted murderer sentenced to Life

Granting the requests of both the victim’s family and the prosecutor, a judge sentenced David Donaldson to Life in prison Tuesday for the 2020 murder of Gordon McKinney during a dispute, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Prosecutors Peter Overstreet and Jacob Cook proved at trial in April that the defendant provoked a confrontation with Mr. McKinney and then shot him twice – once in the back – at a construction site on 23rd Street. A jury took just over 2 hours to find him guilty as charged of Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault.

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Prosecutor Peter Overstreet, right, looks on as the victim’s widow (center, light-colored top), speaks to Circuit Judge Timothy Register at sentencing. The defendant is to the left with his attorney.

At Tuesday’s sentencing before Circuit Court Judge Timothy Register, Overstreet said the only just sentence would be for the defendant to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Gordon McKinney’s family put together a montage of family pictures for the judge to consider during sentencing.

“Mr. Donaldson armed himself with a gun and summoned the courage to call out a man older than him … he called the man out knowing he had a gun, and he ended a life over nothing,” Overstreet said to Register, asking for a Life sentence. “His family will be able to visit him wherever he’s incarcerated, they will be able to hear his voice, talk to him about what’s going on in their lives.

“That can never happen again with Mr. McKinney’s family.”

Judge Register handed down the Life sentence for Second Degree Murder and a 5-year consecutive sentence for Aggravated Assault after family members of both the victim and the defendant spoke.

“My dad and mom gave us a magical childhood,” said Cortney McKinney, Gordon McKinney’s daughter, as a power point presentation showed family pictures of Mr. McKinney on courtroom monitors. “It was magical because my dad and mom gave us constant love, praise, affection, support, guidance, and education, everything children need to flourish.”

Cortney McKinney said her father was a loving and humorous man. She said he sacrificed himself over the years to provide for the family.


One picture of her with her father, she noted, was taken Feb. 29, 2020, “the day I got married and the last time I ever saw my dad alive.”

She said being walked down the aisle by her dad is a memory she is grateful to have, “but for the rest of my life and my husband’s, our wedding anniversary will also always be the last day I saw my dad alive because he was taken from us by the murderer. The murderer who has demonstrated a complete absence of respect for the value of human life.”

Gordon McKinney’s daughter is comforted by Victim Advocate Lisa Lea Humpich as she tells Circuit Judge Register how the loss of her father has affected her family’s life.

Sherri McKinney, Gordon McKinney’s widow, said her world shattered when her husband was killed. “Before his murder, I felt safe knowing he would be there to help me with anything I needed, to help raise and guide our kids, to grow old with and now that is all gone.”

She too asked for the maximum sentence of Life in prison.

“His murderer has not shown one iota of remorse and does not deserve leniency,” she told Judge Register. “He shot an unarmed man in the back, a gray-haired – 15 years his senior – unarmed man. I hope his fellow prisoners hear those details so they know what kind of coward will be living among them.

“He will not have his gun to pull out in prison.”

For additional information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.