Man guilty on all counts in machete, car murder at Dayton park

A man accused of murdering a New Lebanon man by attacking him with a machete and then running him over with a car in the parking lot of a Dayton park has been found guilty on all counts in a bench verdict.

Daniel Burder Anderson, 25, was found guilty of nine charges of murder and four charges of felonious assault by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven K. Dankof in a bench trial decision filed Tuesday.

Anderson previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and waived his right to a trial by jury, instead opting for a bench trial, court documents said.

According to court documents, the charges reach back to July 28, 2022, when Anderson killed Daniel Thomas, 59.

At 11:56 p.m., police responded to the parking lot of Triangle Park on Ridge Avenue for a person possibly hit by a vehicle, and found a dead man with trauma to his head and neck, later identified as Thomas.

Court documents said that Anderson had attacked Thomas, first by hitting him repeatedly around the head with a machete, and then running Thomas over with Anderson’s vehicle.

Anderson then stayed at the shelter at the park and freely admitted that he killed Thomas, claiming that he believed Thomas raped his mother and would rape other members of Anderson’s family.

Anderson told police in an interview that he smoked meth with Thomas on multiple occasions, and claimed that Thomas had admitted to the rape and threatened members of Anderson’s family, causing him to come up with a plan to kill Thomas, court documents said.

In the months leading up to the killing, Anderson said that he stopped taking his prescribed mental health medication. In the decision, the judge said that Anderson had apparently replaced his prescription with “self-medication,” since a drug screen after the killing was positive for “fentanyl, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and marijuana.”

In the interview with police, Anderson reportedly also told detectives that he “felt horrible” and “definitely didn’t like” killing Thomas, but said that he “needed to die,” adding that he would probably be going to prison for a long time, possibly the rest of his life. He also reportedly told detectives that murder was wrong and should only be done for the right reasons.

On Aug. 10, the judge said that Anderson sent an email from jail saying that he would plead insanity and had confessed everything right away, but added that “I should a [sic] just left, like I could have easily gotten away with it”. He said that he was worried someone else would find Thomas’ body and get blamed for the murder.

In his decision, the judge said that the case boiled down to whether, despite severe mental illness, Anderson knew that killing Thomas was wrong. He found that even though Anderson felt morally justified in killing Thomas, he still knew that murder was wrong.

Anderson is currently in the Montgomery County Jail, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27, court documents said.

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