Plattsburgh Clinton County Court Judge Patrick McGill handed Edward A. Dashnaw, 42, two concurrent life sentences without the possibility of parole.
This comes after the second trial that resulted in Dashnaw being found guilty of the 2005 murders of David and Lorraine Donivan of Schuyler Falls.
David’s cousin, Gary Donivan, sat through both trials and wants to know why Dashnaw killed the couple. He knows Dashnaw continues to declare his innocence, but he wants to know.
“That was a real brutal crime,” Gary said.
On Dec. 29, 2005, David’s remains were discovered wrapped in a carpet in the basement of his Schuyler Falls home. Police found Lorraine’s body two days later at the couple’s nearby furniture store, House of Pine and Oak.
“Little Laurie was stabbed in the back of the neck and shoulder,” said Gary. “She must have been trying to get away.
“David had 30-some-odd stabbing wounds.”
Gary believes his cousin was trying to get to a weapon he kept in the bedroom.
A jury found Dashnaw guilty of the murders in 2007, and McGill passed down the same sentence, but an appeal granted Dashnaw a new trial.
“I was disgusted we went through this a second time,” Gary said. “The same evidence was produced, and all the jurors found him guilty.”
Gary sat through both trials because he and his cousin were so close. They hunted together, and David took Gary up in his plane.
“David is my first cousin, and we were close,” Gary said. “He is like a brother, and then suddenly he is not there because of that horrendous crime.”
On Oct. 28, a jury convicted Dashnaw of the murders of David and Lorraine for a second time.
Dashnaw was also convicted of two counts of fourth-degree larceny, three counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. At the trial, District Attorney Andrew Wylie’s office had outlined how Dashnaw stole the Donivans’ 2004 Toyota Tundra and credit cards, using the latter to purchase goods, including Christmas gifts for his children.
At the sentencing, Wylie asked that Dashnaw never be released from prison and read a letter from Lorraine’s sister, Linda Compoli, that requested the maximum sentence.
Dashnaw continues to deny any involvement in the murders.
McGill’s retrial sentence was the same as the first.
“There’s not much more you could give him,” Gary said. “He’s got the max.”
He knows Dashnaw continues to claim he is innocent, but he wants to know why.
“It won’t bring them back, but I want to know why.”