On a bright February morning last year, Daniel L. Everette walked up to a silver Chrysler in a Chick-fil-A drive-thru in Woodbridge and shot his wife seven times at point-blank range, according to police and court documents.
Everette, 53, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of his wife, Alice Jenkins Everette, 48, of Dumfries, and was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in prison. Prince William County Circuit Court Judge William D. Hamblen suspended 22 years of that sentence, according to prosecutors, and a weapons charge was dropped.
Everette wrote to Hamblen that he was “extremely angry and upset with my wife.” Prosecutors say that the couple was separated and in the midst of getting a divorce. Alice Everette had a warrant issued for her husband’s arrest after he failed to appear in court for a hearing dealing with the care of their three young daughters.
On the day of the shooting, Everette wrote that he drove to his children’s school to drop off some items for them and saw his wife in the school’s driveway. He didn’t want to confront his wife, he wrote, so he drove around.
She, however, continued to linger.
“The longer and more I drove around, the angrier I became,” he wrote. He said he saw her driving after he dropped the items off at the school, and saw her turn into the Chick-fil-A, just off Interstate 95 at 2425 Prince William Pkwy.
“Before I fully comprehend what I was doing, I stopped my vehicle beside her car, climbed out with the weapon and started firing. Everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly I couldn’t think.”
One of Alice Everette’s co-workers at General Dynamics, a defense contractor where she worked, happened to be eating breakfast facing the window and saw the incident, and later identified Everette in court. The crime was also captured on a Chick-fil-A security camera.
Everette soon turned himself in to police, showing up sopping wet, prosecutors said. Police think he dropped the gun in the Occoquan River, but despite an extensive search, the weapon was not recovered.
Prosecutors say that the children are well cared for by family members.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said that the crime “was very unusual at a public place like that.”
“I think, overall, justice was served,” he said. Everette had not been convicted of any other serious crime, and the more than three decades he is expected to serve is considered a stiff penalty, Ebert said.
Everette’s attorney couldn’t be reached late Thursday.