Dad used kids as shields in standoff, cops say. He’s sentenced to 291 years in prison

A Maryland man convicted in an armed standoff during which deputies said he used his children as shields was sentenced to several hundred years behind bars.

Kevin McCardell was sentenced to an “unprecedented” 291 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on charges stemming from the 2022 incident in Burke County, Georgia, the sheriff’s office said in a Feb. 22 news release.

Investigators said McCardell barricaded his kids — two toddlers — inside the family’s home and held them hostage as a special response team swarmed the residence on Nov. 16, 2022, WJBF reported.

The result was a five-hour standoff that ended with him being shot, deputies told the station.

A jury convicted McCardell on 25 charges including:

  • Aggravated assault on a peace officer

  • Child cruelty

  • Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony

“Today’s sentencing of 291 years serves as a stern condemnation of McCardell’s reprehensible conduct and a testament to the unwavering commitment of the justice system to hold perpetrators of such atrocities accountable,” Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said in the release.

Deputies arrived at the home after the mother of McCardell’s kids escaped their apartment, where she said an abusive McCardell had been holding her hostage, WJBF reported, citing the sheriff’s office.

Prosecutors said the family moved to Georgia from Maryland after McCardell was charged with the “attempted murder of his wife,” according to WFXG. The abuse only continued, prosecutors said, according to the outlet.

He was accused of hitting the mother of his kids in the face with a soiled diaper before she ran and hid in the woods, where a relative picked her up a few hours later, according to WRDW. That’s when they went to the sheriff’s office, authorities told the outlet.

Responding deputies were met at the door by an armed McCardell, who they said was holding his two daughters and a pistol, the station reported, citing the sheriff’s office. At one point, he raised the gun and fired, deputies told the outlet.

McCardell went back into the apartment, returned to the door and fired another shot, deputies told WJBF. He holed himself and his children up inside the apartment as deputies fired back, authorities said, according to the station.

The standoff lasted several hours, and McCardell continued threatening deputies with his gun while holding his children, deputies said, WRDW reported. A deputy later shot him in the leg, and he was arrested, according to the outlet, citing the sheriff’s office.

Emergency responders treated his two kids before they were returned to their mom, WJBF reported. No one else was hurt, according to the station.

“While the conclusion of this trial may provide a measure of closure …, we must also acknowledge the lasting scars left by McCardell’s actions,” Williams said in the release.

“The trauma endured by his children and the community will linger on even as the trial has now finished.”

Burke County is about 30 miles south of Augusta.

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