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Air Power primary convicted of manslaughter blames spouse for combat that ended in her loss of life

They have been the image of the American dream. Andreen McDonald, described as a “emerging megastar,” and Andre McDonald, a significant within the U.S. Air Power, have been a San Antonio energy couple who ran a a hit trade that funded a lavish way of life. Their apparently highest global got here crashing down within the iciness of 2019 when Andreen all of sudden disappeared.

“I bear in mind … like a panic set in,” says buddy Mandy Corridor. “Andreen isn’t the individual to head take off someplace and no person is aware of the place she is.”

Andreen McDonald was a a hit entrepreneur and located her function in serving others.

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Investigator Frank Stubbs tells “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant, “Her handbag was once nonetheless there, her keys have been at the counter and her automobiles have been nonetheless there.” Stubbs noticed one thing startling whilst looking out the house. “I discovered there was once blood at the wall in a space that was once more or less bizarre, there was once blood and hair on a gentle transfer,” he says.

AN AMERICAN DREAM TURNED NIGHTMARE

Within the afternoon of March 1, 2019, after 29-year-old Andreen McDonald was once reported lacking through her mom Maureen, a Bexar County sheriff’s deputy arrived on the McDonald domestic in an upscale gated neighborhood in San Antonio.

Inside mins, the deputy noticed that blood and hair at the mild transfer.  And within the yard, typically superbly landscaped, every other troubling clue: a random burn pile.

A zip from Andreen McDonald’s shirt was once came upon in a burn pile within the yard of her domestic.

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Maureen Smith: We discovered a … zipper from uh, Andreen’s shirt.

Peter Van Sant: It was once Andreen’s shirt?

Maureen Smith: Mm hmm (affirms).

Andreen’s husband, Andre “Andy” McDonald, advised the deputy that after he awoke, he were given their daughter Alayna to college sooner than reporting to Lackland Air Power Base, the place he served as a cyber struggle analyst.

As soon as he realized Andreen was once lacking, Andre rushed again domestic. However he briefly headed out the door once more to behave on a stoop that Andreen, who suffered from migraines, would possibly have long past to a close-by health facility for remedy.

Andre’s arrival to the health facility was once captured through surveillance cameras, says lead investigator Frank Stubbs.

Frank Stubbs: On that tape … he is available in, you’ll be able to see him … requesting McDonald … they usually inform him … there may be any individual in Room 3 named McDonald.

Peter Van Sant: He arrives again to the home. What does he inform them?

Frank Stubbs: He tells them that she’s within the health facility.

But if the deputy known as the health facility, he came upon that the McDonald who had checked in was once no longer Andreen McDonald.

Andre advised deputies that he rushed again domestic sooner than seeing his spouse as a result of he had left his mobile phone at domestic and sought after to let Maureen know he had discovered Andreen.

Sheriff Javier Salazar of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Administrative center:

Sheriff Javier Salazar: There was once some indication to him that she was once there and injured to some degree.

Sadly, the most important’s stoop became out to be unsuitable.

Maureen Smith: Once I heard, I used to be — oh, God, I used to be so disappointed … I used to be simply pondering that she’s somewhere that we will be able to to find her.

And for Andreen’s partner’s mother, Jackie Horne, who lived in Florida, there was once uncertainty.

Jackie Horne: I had known as Andreen’s telephone a few thousand instances already, announcing, “Andreen, no matter it’s, please, please, simply name me again.”

What involved everybody was once the reality Andreen would by no means simply disappear. She was once recognized for her sense of accountability and determination to her circle of relatives and trade.

Peter Van Sant: How would you describe Andreen?

Maureen Smith: She is aware of what she needs. And she or he would by no means forestall till she get it.

ANDREEN (video): I did are available sooner than he did. Approach —

ANDRE: Proper, Andreen did defeat me, and he or she is so excited.

Andreen created an assisted residing trade in San Antonio known as Starlight Houses when she was once simply 22. And, in line with Andre’s shut buddy Andrew Russell, Andre bankrolled her goals.

Andrew Russell: With a view to get started the trade, Andre, he liquidated his 401K. … And .. he offered the BMW that he owned.

Jackie Horne: They have been doing so neatly. They have been doing the whole thing that might make any mom proud.

Starlight Houses thrived, and beneath Andreen’s watch the tiny home-based trade remodeled right into a multimillion-dollar endeavor in simply seven years.

ANDREEN MCDONALD SPEECH: Once I began my assisted residing, I handiest began with 3 citizens … Nowadays, Starlight Houses Assisted Residing, now we have two places within the San Antonio space.

Formative years buddy, Mandy Corridor, says Andreen’s good fortune was once born out of humble beginnings.

Mandy Corridor: Rising up in Portland, Jamaica … we did not have so much. … And, so, we figured if we would have liked to get someplace in existence … it will be in The united states. … That is the place the dream was once.

Andreen’s dream of coming to The united states got here true at 19, when she met Andre. He was once additionally a local of Jamaica, who on the time was once a captain within the U.S. Air Power. Andre had returned domestic to Port Antonio, Jamaica, in Would possibly 2009 to wait a funeral the place he met Andreen, who was once 10 years more youthful.

Andreen and Andre McDonald

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Peter Van Sant: Was once there an appeal proper from the start?

Maureen Smith: She was once excited when she met him. … interested by the captain within the Air Power. … they each make a decision for her to return to The united states.

They married that July.

Jackie Horne: I used to be satisfied to understand he had met any individual that he will have a existence with.

That existence would quickly come with a child woman, Alayna. Alayna was once on the middle of Andreen’s global, which made her disappearance so perplexing, says Horne.

Jackie Horne: I don’t believe Andreen would simply stand up and stroll away and go away Alayna, and no one would pay attention from her.

That night time, a forensic crime unit tested the ones stains in the toilet and showed the preliminary trust that they have been blood.

Peter Van Sant: When you have been going thru the home, was once Andre there?

Frank Stubbs: Sure, he was once.

Peter Van Sant: Did you spot any indicators of bruising on his frame, any indicators of — of any accidents that in all probability he’d been in a battle?

Frank Stubbs: Not anything that shall we — that shall we decide.

Investigators have been hoping Andre had some solutions. However he mentioned the closing time he had noticed his spouse was once the evening sooner than, they usually mentioned what Andre described raised extra questions than solutions.

Frank Stubbs: He had advised them they’d come domestic from the tax preparers place of work, and that they’d argued over the trade and … he went up the street … were given some gasoline and simply cooled off.

On Feb. 28, 2019, after a heated argument together with his spouse, Andre McDonald says he left the home to chill off. He’s noticed on surveillance video at a gasoline station.

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Frank Stubbs: We have been ready to acquire video proof of him going to the Shell station.

Andre mentioned when he returned domestic, he and Andreen went to split bedrooms.

However in line with investigators, what Andre did not point out was once the textual content change that came about on the gasoline station.

TATTOOS, TEXTS, AND A MARRAGE IN TURMOIL

For investigators, the textual content messages discovered on Andre’s telephone published a wedding in turmoil, together with allegations of betrayal.

Peter Van Sant: Accusations of unfaithfulness in those textual content messages, proper?

Frank Stubbs: That is proper.

Peter Van Sant: We’ve a published replica. Would you thoughts studying those from his telephone?

Frank Stubbs (studying the textual content): Andreen responds … “In case you carry up Aubyn once more, I can divorce you myself.” 

Aubyn Corridor, a businessman residing in Port Antonio, Jamaica, who in line with investigators, was once Andreen’s ex-boyfriend and, doubtlessly, her present lover.

In accordance with Andreen’s risk of divorce, Andre texts: “I do not care in the event you break up. You introduced Aubyn into our existence.”

Aubyn dated Andreen when she was once a teen, say investigators. Andreen’s shut buddy Mandy Corridor says the 2 rekindled their romance in 2017 throughout one among her philanthropic journeys to the island.

Mandy Corridor: Aubyn has all the time been that old flame … It wasn’t one thing Andreen were given over, emotionally.

Corridor says they carried on their affair in secret till the summer time of 2018 when Andreen were given two new tattoos: an preliminary “A” tattooed on her hand and a date tattooed on her wrist.

Mandy Corridor: Andy was once indubitably suspicious of what it supposed.

With a suspicious thoughts, Corridor says Andre went to paintings to unravel this tattoo thriller.

Mandy Corridor: He went, and he did his personal digging.

It was once on social media the place Andre came upon a fascinating {photograph} of Aubyn branded with the similar actual tattoo that was once additionally on Andreen’s hand.

Audreen McDonald’s tattoos —  an preliminary “A” on her hand and a date on her wrist.

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And the ones numbers 14-3-76? They are Aubyn’s birthday — day, month and yr.

Mandy Corridor: She advised me that she hastily were given the tattoo … she knew it was once one thing silly to do.

Enraged, Corridor says Andre threatened divorce until Andreen bring to a halt touch with Aubyn, lined up her tattoos, and promised to by no means shuttle to Jamaica with out him.

Mandy Corridor: She did quilt up the tattoos. … She did not wish to lose part of the whole thing she labored exhausting for.

At Andre’s fortieth party, Corridor says through all outward appearances, the McDonalds gave the impression to be getting alongside. However simply 13 days later, on March 1, 2019, that is when Andreen disappeared.

The as soon as festive domestic had remodeled into against the law scene as investigators labored the McDonald place of dwelling till 2 a.m. the following morning. Once they could not find Andreen’s mobile phone, investigators checked to peer if her bank cards or passport were used — all useless ends.


The place was once lacking millionaire Andreen McDonald? through
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Frank Stubbs: We got here up dry on — on all of those inquiries. … At this level, all we had was once a lacking particular person.

Inside hours of his spouse’s disappearance, Andre McDonald was once an individual of hobby. He stopped answering questions and lawyered up.

At 2 p.m. tomorrow, an undercover investigator assigned to observe the McDonalds’ area spotted that the storage were broken and Andre was once taking flight of the driveway.

Surveillance video of Andre McDonald buying a 9mm handgun and ammunition.

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The investigator adopted him to a close-by gun store the place further investigators, who have been known as to the scene, seen Andre buying a 9mm handgun and ammunition.

Frank Stubbs: We have been beneath the belief that he was once buying a gun to almost definitely hurt himself.

When Andre walked again to his automotive, investigators faced him in a violent takedown.

Investigators moved to detain the Air Power primary and became him over to army government for a psychological analysis.

In the meantime, investigators returned to the home with a seek warrant and checked Andreen’s automotive. Whilst there, some gadgets stuck their eye.

Peter Van Sant: There was once a shovel. There was once an ax.

Pieces present in Andreen McDonald’s automotive incorporated a shovel and ax, in addition to a hatchet, heavy-duty huge trash baggage, gloves and two 5-gallon gasoline cans.

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Frank Stubbs: An ax. There was once a — like a hatchet more or less maul. There was once … trash baggage, there have been gloves … And a few gasoline cans.

And there was once extra.

Frank Stubbs: Within … the rubbish can in the home was once … a receipt from Lowe’s that were torn up.

Detectives have been ready to acquire surveillance photos from the ironmongery shop —pieces that have been bought the day after Andreen went lacking.

Andre McDonald is noticed on the checkout of a Lowes retailer. Two pink gasoline cans will also be noticed at the counter.

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Frank Stubbs (staring at surveillance video): That is Andre McDonald getting into the Lowe’s …he will acquire a number of pieces. … You’ll be able to see him with a basket right here. You’ll be able to see there is a shovel within the basket … And now, he comes up right here … there may be two gasoline cans. … There is a maul —

Peter Van Sant: There may be the hatchet.

Frank Stubbs: — or a hatchet … Here is that ax.

Peter Van Sant: What is at play right here?

Frank Stubbs: It looked as if it would us that … now that his spouse was once lacking. It pointed to the disposal of her frame.

Peter Van Sant: Have a look at that cart stuffed with unwell will, proper?

Frank Stubbs: Sure.

And within the nook of the storage, investigators would discover what they are saying was once essentially the most damning proof of all.

Frank Stubbs: We discovered a hammer and clothes … within the rubbish. …  The clothes that we discovered … looked to be Andre’s clothes.

Investigators say they discovered lines of blood at the pocket of a couple of denims.

Peter Van Sant: What is at the claw hammer that is of hobby?

Frank Stubbs: The lab decided that there was once the presence of … blood on … the hammer. … And the DNA that they … bought from that — that blood pattern was once from Andreen.

Frank Stubbs: We concluded that that hammer was once almost definitely used because the homicide weapon.

Peter Van Sant: That is important.

Frank Stubbs: Very important.

ALL EYES ON MAJOR ANDRE MCDONALD

On March 2, 2019, 48 hours into the investigation, Stubbs believed he had came upon key proof that implicated Main Andre McDonald in his spouse’s disappearance. Investigators situated the ones pieces stained with Andreen’s blood throughout the circle of relatives’s trash can. This lacking particular person’s case had grow to be a lot more sinister.

Peter Van Sant: And it is pointing towards what?

Frank Stubbs: The proof … was once pointing in opposition to a homicide.

However there was once an issue. Not one of the proof gathered proved {that a} homicide had in reality took place.

Frank Stubbs: Turning a lacking particular person’s case right into a murder case could be very tough.

On March 3, 2019, the Air Power concluded its analysis of Andre and launched him. Civil government briefly moved in and positioned him beneath arrest.

On March 3, 2019, Andre McDonald was once arrested for tampering with proof in keeping with the torn up Lowe’s receipt investigators discovered within the trash.

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But it surely wasn’t for homicide. Main Andre McDonald was once arrested for tampering with proof founded upon that torn receipt discovered on the area record the pieces he had bought from the ironmongery shop.

Andre’s arrest left his mom in a state of outrage and disbelief.

Jackie Horne: I noticed that Andre was once taken into custody. … And I simply collapsed. … I do know he cherished Andreen. Why would he hurt her?

Andre and Andreen McDonald

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And for Andreen’s mom, Andre’s arrest left her head spinning.

Maureen Smith: Oh, God. Andre may just no longer harm Andreen. That is what I used to be announcing. However who else?

Including to everybody’s sense of outrage, confusion and suspicion was once Andre’s determination to forestall cooperating with detectives.

Sheriff Javier Salazar: Andre’s face advised us … there was once no approach in hell we have been going to wreck him and make him let us know what had came about.

Sheriff Salazar went on native TV requesting assist.

SHERIFF SALAZAR (information convention): We’re asking anyone with any data on her whereabouts to provide us a decision …”

Quickly after, the neighborhood of San Antonio, along side friends and family got here out in droves to search for Andreen, together with a volunteer seek birthday party shaped through former Air Power Airman Bobby Inexperienced.

Inexperienced took “48 Hours” out to one of the vital spaces the place he looked for Andreen.

Bobby Inexperienced (strolling with Peter Van Sant): At the moment, we are at the back of a … health facility we idea … he would possibly have taken her right here to a wooded space.

Peter Van Sant: As you stroll thru right here … what are you searching for?

Bobby Inexperienced: You can take a look at … tree branches which were driven away, one thing that was once lower … contemporary, uh, tire tracks.

Peter Van Sant: What number of miles did you quilt?

Bobby Inexperienced: It was once loads of miles.

As seek efforts persevered, Andre McDonald was once launched from prison on bond.

Together with his spouse absent, Andre took over the control of Starlight Houses. Seek efforts persevered, even though investigators say Andre did not participate. Days would ultimately grow to be months of useless ends.

Because the seek for Andreen went on, investigators dug additional into the couple’s courting, finding out that they’d trade issues in addition to romantic ones.

In WhatsApp messages shared with pals, there are arguments over who truly was once the brains at the back of their a hit trade. In a single, Andreen tells Andre: “Starlight Houses is my thought, my dream, and should not have came about with out my force.” 

Again then, pals like Andrew Russell was fearful in regards to the attainable for violence.

Andrew Russell: And I’ve textual content messages from Andreen that is announcing …  “any person goes to snap.”

Russell advised investigators that the couple’s confrontation became bodily the evening sooner than a Christmas birthday party at their domestic in 2018, the place the McDonalds were given right into a bodily altercation.

Andrew Russell: So, after I went into the kitchen, Andy and Andreen have been grappling at the flooring. … The following morning they have been giggling about it. … I did really feel uncomfortable after that. I assumed the placement had grow to be poisonous.

Simply over two months later, Andreen’s blood was once spilled in her domestic, and he or she vanished. In any case, at the night time of July 11, 2019, 133 days after Andreen had long past lacking, there was once a spoil within the case.

SHERIFF SALAZAR (information convention): About 7:30 this night time, Bexar County Sheriff’s Administrative center patrol deputies have been dispatched to this location for a document of a few human — human stays that have been discovered …

Skeletal stays have been situated in a farmer’s box simply six miles from the McDonald domestic. Clifton Klabunde made the invention. Klabunde had taken out his tractor to retrieve a cow cranium that were noticed proper alongside the tree line of the valuables.

Clifton Klabunde: I noticed the — what looked to be a human cranium in entrance of the cow cranium.

Peter Van Sant: That will have to had been a surprise.

Clifton Klabunde: A surprise. Sure.

After months of attempting to find Andreen McDonald, her stays have been present in July 2019. Her skeletal stays have been situated in a box six miles from her San Antonio domestic. 

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Officers decided that the human skeletal stays belong to Andreen McDonald.

Cindy Johnson | Andreen’s sister: I used to be at a church praying for Andreen. …  I could not do the rest. I broke down.

Maureen Smith: It hit us like a typhoon as a result of we nonetheless wasn’t pondering like that.

Jackie Horne (crying, shaking her head) By no means. … I by no means noticed this coming.

Lower than 48 hours later, Andre McDonald can be arrested and charged together with his spouse’s homicide.

MAJOR ANDRE MCDONALD TAKES THE STAND

Andreen’s circle of relatives had waited for justice for 4 years.

Cindy Johnson: It hurts … each evening sooner than I’m going to my mattress, I take into accounts her.

Bexar County Assistant District Legal professionals Steve Speir, Lauren Scott and Ryan Groomer would prosecute Andre McDonald for the homicide of his spouse, Andreen.

However the prosecution would face an uphill struggle. In spite of the proof discovered on the McDonald domestic — the hammer and the blood — the prosecution may just no longer say evidently how Andreen died.

Lauren Scott: As a result of … Andreen’s frame … was once out within the components in that box for all of the ones days … scientific examiner’s place of work was once not able to specify what precisely led to Andreen’s loss of life.

Peter Van Sant: And does that, Steven, complicate your preparation?

Steven Speir: No, it completely does. … we are saying he led to her loss of life; alternatively, we do not understand how.

Andre McDonald was once arrested and charged together with his spouse’s homicide. He pleaded no longer responsible.

Bexar County Sheriff’s Administrative center


Peter Van Sant: If Andre murdered his spouse, what do you imagine was once his reason?

Steven Speir: I imagine it was once in large part as a result of he felt emasculated … she was once the sort of emerging megastar, had keep watch over of those companies … And I believe he was once jealous of that.

Andre McDonald, who pleaded no longer responsible, was once represented through one of the best protection attorneys in San Antonio: John Convery, Zoe Russell and John Hunter.

Peter Van Sant: How would you reply to the perception that … what led to all this was once his … envy of his spouse’s good fortune?

John Hunter: I — I do not see any proof of that.

Zoe Russell: Andre is a significant within the Air Power. I imply, he is extremely a hit on his personal proper.

Main Andre McDonald were beneath area arrest since April 2021. However days sooner than his trial was once set to start on Jan. 17, 2023, Andre, who had remained silent about his spouse’s loss of life started telling an strange tale, starting together with his personal mom.

Jackie Horne says her son advised her Andreen’s loss of life was once an twist of fate.

Jackie Horne: He checked out me and … he mentioned, “Mother, I will let you know the reality” … and he began to cry.

McDonald then known as Andreen’s mom and sister, Cindy, who put the decision on speaker telephone.

Peter Van Sant: [He] … gave the circle of relatives, for the primary time, main points of what came about in line with him.

Cindy Johnson: Sure, in line with him. Sure.

It was once a telephone name that surprised his protection staff.

Peter Van Sant: Was once it stunning to you that he had achieved this?

John Hunter: Stunning’s a just right phrase for it, yeah. … All the context of the case modified.

Zoe Russell: His easiest idea can be to inform his tale in court docket.

Andre would get to inform his tale, however no longer sooner than the prosecution laid out its case in opening statements.

STEVEN SPEIR (in court docket): Throughout the trash bin within the storage … a hammer. That hammer has blood on it. It’s the sufferer’s blood.

The protection contended that Andreen’s loss of life was once an twist of fate.

JOHN CONVERY (in court docket): This isn’t a homicide case. … this can be a case in regards to the level and degree of accountability … With proof of twist of fate. A mutual combat. All of which occurs within the blink of a watch.

The prosecution often known as forensic pathologist Dr. James Feig who testified that Andreen’s skeletal stays had critical accidents in keeping with being struck through a blunt object. She had a fractured spinal wire, a damaged rib and a break up jaw.

Dr. James Feig testified that Andreen’s skeletal stays had critical accidents in keeping with being struck through a blunt object. She had a fractured spinal wire, a damaged rib and a break up jaw.

However the pathologist may just no longer decide what precisely had led to Andreen’s loss of life.

DR, JAMES FEIG (in court docket):  So, the best way that I’ve phrased her explanation for loss of life is homicidal violence, together with blunt pressure trauma.

After six days of testimony and 33 witnesses, the prosecution rested. The protection had just one witness.

JOHN CONVERY (in court docket): Protection calls Main Andre McDonald.

Andre McDonald described the night time of Feb. 28, 2019. Whilst on the tax preparer’s place of work together with his spouse, he came upon that Andreen had began a brand new trade a yr previous with out his wisdom.

JOHN CONVERY (in court docket): What did that represent to you?

ANDRE MCDONALD: Principally that supposed to me just about that she was once robbing me.

After a heated argument that night time, McDonald says he left the home to chill off at that gasoline station.  McDonald says they persevered their argument over textual content. And when he returned domestic, he raised the potential of divorce and splitting their trade in part.

ANDRE MCDONALD (in court docket): She was extraordinarily irate on the considered … splitting the trade. … and fees into the room to confront me.

ANDRE MCDONALD: So, when she comes into the room, you understand, I became round and he or she comes like proper up in my face. … So at that second … she spits in my face … So at that time … I grabbed her, as a result of she’s like proper in entrance of me, so I really like grabbed her head … I believe we had like a conflict of heads, and I believe it spread out like a lower someplace on her face.

Andre mentioned Andreen bumped into the toilet and became at the lighting fixtures. When Andreen noticed her bloody face within the reflect, Andre claims she attacked him.


Accused assassin Andre McDonald claims his spouse may just overpower him through
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His testimony is also nerve-racking to a few.

ANDRE MCDONALD (in court docket): When she comes, she’s like throwing like some punches, so I am looking to like duck right down to and prefer stay my head, my face … from getting hit with the blows. I bear in mind like grabbing her and prefer tripping her … After which she like falls … and that is the reason after I kicked her like two times … The — the second one kick, I believe I heard like some form of wheezing … after which additionally like within the background I may just pay attention like some footsteps.

The footsteps in their younger daughter, Alayna. Andre mentioned he left to position Alayna again to mattress, and when he returned about half-hour later, his spouse was once useless.

ANDRE MCDONALD (in court docket): I was like beautiful frantic at that time as a result of … you understand, she’s useless at the flooring.

STEVEN SPEIR: You by no means idea I want to name …

In cross-examination, Prosecutor Speir requested if Andre had thought of calling 911.

ANDRE MCDONALD: I by no means thought of calling anyone to restore a useless particular person. … My function at that time was once merely to get her out of the home in order that my 7-year-old daughter would not see her mom laying at the flooring useless.

After hanging Alayna again to mattress, Andre mentioned he dumped Andreen’s frame within the box, stripped her bare and returned domestic to burn her clothes which left that burn patch within the yard.

However what about Andreen’s blood at the yellow hammer? At the face of it, the proof does not sq. with Andre’s account of an twist of fate.

Andre had an reason behind that. He testified that after investigators completed looking out his domestic, he went again to the sphere sooner than morning time, offended and armed with the yellow hammer, a can of gas and a plan.

ANDRE MCDONALD (in court docket): My plan was once to hit the individual that … led to this entire circumstance.

STEVEN SPEIR: You felt it was once her fault, proper?

ANDRE MCDONALD: It is completely her fault.

STEVEN SPEIR: What did you do with gas?

ANDRE MCDONALD: I poured it on her after which I used the — the lighter and set it on fireplace.

Andre McDonald testified he lit Andreen’s frame on fireplace and attacked her corpse time and again with the yellow hammer.

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Andre mentioned when the flames subsided, that is when he attacked his spouse’s corpse with the yellow hammer.

ANDRE MCDONALD (in court docket): I hit her within the face, the neck. … and I identical to hit her once more as I used to be strolling away. 

STEVEN SPEIR: Why that closing blow?

ANDRE MCDONALD: As I used to be strolling away?

STEVEN SPEIR: Sure.

ANDRE MCDONALD: I suppose I used to be nonetheless offended when I used to be strolling away.

After that grotesque testimony, the protection shifted gears and attempted to refocus the jury on their principle of the crime. And for the primary time, the protection introduced up why Andre acted the best way he did that evening.

JOHN CONVERY (in court docket): Have you ever all the time believed you acted in self-defense?

ANDRE MCDONALD: Sure, I’ve all the time believed that from the very starting.

At trial, the protection staff confirmed movies of Andreen McDonald powerlifting and wearing Andre McDonald on her again to reveal that she was once more potent than him.

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The protection performed movies appearing Andreen giving her husband a piggyback journey and figuring out.

JOHN CONVERY (in court docket):  Would you describe Andreen as an excessively robust, robust girl?

ANDRE MCDONALD: Sure. I’d.

Consistent with Andre, his spouse may just elevate as much as 300 kilos.

JOHN CONVERY: When she attacked you, have been you in concern?

ANDRE MCDONALD: Sure, I used to be in concern of, you understand, being harmed throughout that entire scenario.

STEVEN SPEIR: They would like you to overlook and fail to remember about all his movements.

Then got here remaining arguments.

STEVEN SPEIR (in court docket): Protection recommend mentioned that that is self-defense, Other people, this isn’t self-defense. … It is time to grasp this guy accountable for what he did. And it is time to to find him responsible of homicide.

JOHN CONVERY: Andre McDonald didn’t deliberately or knowingly homicide Andreen McDonald. … He acted in self-defense. … and your responsibility and your legal responsibility is to mention no longer responsible. Thanks.

After six days of testimony, the jury were given the case. Roughly 11 hours into their deliberation, the jury despatched a be aware to the pass judgement on.

John Convery: That claims, “we are hopelessly deadlocked.”

A SHOCKING VERDICT

After nearly 11 hours of deliberating, the jury was once deadlocked— not able to make a decision if Andre McDonald was once responsible of homicide, manslaughter or no longer responsible through self-defense. Andreen’s sister, Cindy Johnson, was once puzzled. 

Cindy Johnson: The entirety was once mentioned within the court docket. The entire proof have been — have been there. … He confessed at the stand what he did … They noticed his demeanor. … I do not know what was once the issue.

Brandon Medellin: I voted for homicide. And I noticed that we have been six and 6.

Rudy Ruiz: At no level did any juror suppose that he was once blameless or that it was once self-defense.

For jurors Brandon Medellin and Rudy Ruiz, the issue was once wording.

Brandon Medellin: Purpose other people truly picked aside the definitions of homicide and recklessness.

The jury of six ladies and 6 males spent hours discussing whether or not Andre McDonald had deliberately murdered Andreen McDonald or if he had recklessly killed her— making it manslaughter.

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The jury of six ladies and 6 males spent hours discussing whether or not Andre had deliberately murdered Andreen or if he had recklessly killed her— making it manslaughter. Homicide carries a existence sentence; manslaughter as much as twenty years.

Brandon Medellin: I believe maximum folks may just agree that no matter came about it was once reckless. He left her at the flooring, and he didn’t render support. … Now, the trick was once to check out and persuade the opposite jurors that it was once homicide.

However because the deliberations persevered, one of the jurors were swayed, with 9 now for manslaughter. Medellin says the largest think about swaying the vote was once Andre McDonald’s testimony.

Brandon Medellin: There was once so little proof … And so, a large number of other people imagine, as a result of we do not know the rest as opposed to what he has advised us, that we need to take what he advised us.

And he was once in reality ready to persuade a large number of the jurors.

Randy Ruiz: And we had that one juror that he mentioned, “Neatly, I have kicked any person, and I by no means meant to kill them.”

Medellin, Ruiz, and a 3rd juror have been the staunch holdouts for homicide.

Rudy Ruiz: Nobody was once going to modify any individual’s thoughts.

The pass judgement on then invoked what is known as an Allen Price— urging the holdout jurors to rethink the proof and succeed in a unanimous determination. After every other hour of deliberations: a verdict.

JUDGE FRANK CASTRO: Mr. McDonald, please stand together with your recommend. … To the depend of homicide, charged within the indictment, the jury unearths the defendant, no longer responsible of the offense of homicide. As charged within the indictment: responsible — responsible of the offense of manslaughter. 

Andre McDonald was once discovered no longer responsible of homicide, however responsible of the lesser rate: Manslaughter. Andreen’s sister was once in disbelief.

Cindy Johnson: Manslaughter. After he spoke and not using a regret, no love, not anything in any respect, and used hammer, stripped her garments, throw gas on her, burned her, they usually gave him manslaughter … That is loopy. I’m going to battle with this idea till the day I die.

The prosecution had a blended response to the decision.

Steven Speir: I used to be dissatisfied. … On the other hand … the jury … rejected his self-defense argument and held him responsible for no less than one thing.

For the protection, Andre McDonald would possibly not have walked out a loose guy, however —

John Hunter: This can be a win. … In spite of how I imagine that this can be a self-defense case. I do appreciate the result.

Andreen’s easiest buddy, Mandy Corridor.

Mandy Corridor (crying): He is there to inform his tale. He is there to make up no matter he needs to make up. …  She — she does not — she cannot do this as a result of he took that clear of her.

Cindy Johnson now sees that telephone name from Andre sooner than the trial in an entire new mild: as a calculated ploy to deflect blame.

Cindy Johnson: It is 4 years. It took him 4 years for him to acknowledge that he did what he did. … After which abruptly … he is attaining out to us. … To allow us to suppose that he is being accountable. … He did not imply the rest, he’s mendacity. … All a lie. It is all a lie.

After the decision, Sheriff Salazar reached out to Andreen’s father, a retired member of the Jamaican Military, with an extraordinary providing.

SHERIFF SALAZAR (post-verdict information convention): I did provide Mr. Anderson with a present. I requested my deputy to take away {the handcuffs} from— from Andre as they put him again into the mobile. And I gave— I introduced the ones cuffs to— to Mr. Anderson.

PAUL ANDERSON: I wish to let you know that we truly respect it. … Thanks very a lot. God bless you (shakes the sheriff’s hand).

Sheriff Salazar: I sought after them to really feel some kind of connection to a minimum of sending him away to — to jail.

For Andreen’s mom, not anything about this tragedy is smart — her daughter and the pretty existence she had created are long past. Andreen McDonald, who got here to The united states, was a a hit entrepreneur and located her function in serving others. Unfortunately, the trade she created is now closed.

Maureen Smith: I pass over her very a lot. Maximum instances after I take into accounts her, I simply, it is like I think like giving up.

Maureen Smith and Cindy Johnson grasp fingers in entrance of Andreen McDonald’s grave.

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And in the ones instances, Maureen and Cindy lean on one every other.

Cindy Johnson: We are blessed to have every different to take us thru this unhappy adventure. Um, when I am susceptible, my mother is robust. When my mother is susceptible, I’m robust.

Maureen Smith: We should be robust for Alayna.

Alayna— now 12-years-old— is the glue that binds this fractured circle of relatives. A circle of relatives that also contains Andre’s mom, Jackie— even though she is principally left with the recollections and the ache of what as soon as was once.

Jackie Horne (crying as she appears to be like at a photograph of Andre, Andreen and Alayna): I believe I harm for Alayna greater than I harm for everybody. No kid must ever have to head thru what she went thru.

Andreen’s mom and sister are actually elevating Alayna.

Cindy Johnson: It is bittersweet as a result of now we have Alayna.

Maureen Smith: Alayna reminds us such a lot of Andreen.

Andre McDonald was once sentenced to twenty years in jail.

He’s interesting his manslaughter conviction.

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