D.C. resident pleads guilty to murder of alumna

A D.C. resident pleaded guilty in a Maryland court this week to the murder of a GW graduate student last spring.

Gary T. McKinley, 26, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the April 2008 death of his girlfriend, 24-year-old preschool teacher Sheena Marie Day. Day was a graduate student at GW in spring 2008, and a news release from the Maryland state’s attorney’s office said she was pursuing a degree in education.

On April 13, 2008, McKinley flagged down a police officer in Prince George’s County and told the officer that he came home and found his girlfriend in bed with blood around her head, according to the release.

After questioning, McKinley took responsibility for Day’s death and said he used a gun, though it was never found.

Day, who had an 8-month-old son, had previously sought relocation services from D.C.’s domestic violence division and later attempted to obtain a protective order against McKinley, according to a news release. By the end of the same month, the couple was again living together in Maryland.

McKinley has prior arrests for possession of marijuana and sexual assault and is also a registered sex offender in the District.

He will be sentenced on March 11, 2009, and could face up to 50 years in prison.

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