According to the Attorney’s Office, the Howard County Police Department revisited the case, and in 2021, DNA results from items discarded at the scene linked Howard Bradberry Jr. to the crime.
In July 2022, Bradberry reportedly entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree murder. On Jan. 5, Bradberry was officially sentenced by Howard County Circuit Court Judge Richard Bernhardt to 25 years in prison, the Attorney’s Office announced.
In a statement, State’s Attorney Rich Gibson said, "The brutal murder of Laney Lee McGadney fractured her family beyond repair and for 40 years there were very little leads in the case with no one being held responsible for her senseless killing."
Gibson continued, "I want to thank Howard County police and our prosecutors for working so diligently on this case. We know today’s sentencing cannot bring back the matriarch of this family, but we do hope it provides some much-needed closure for her four kids, 22 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren knowing Bradberry will spend the rest of his life in prison for the innocent life he took and heinous crime he committed."