Black Immigrant Daily News
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Andre McDonald faces some 20 years in prison for killing his wife after finding out that she had cut him from a stake in her company
Andre McDonald, son of Portland businessman and murder accused, Everton ‘Beachy Stout’ McDonald, was on Friday convicted of manslaughter in relation to the killing of his 29-year-old wife, Andreen, in San Antonio, Texas, United States nearly four years ago.
Andre, who is himself a Jamaican native like his deceased wife, and was a US Air Force Reserve major, had testified during his own murder trial that he killed Andreen in self-defence, and disposed of her body.
What fuelled his anger, he said, was that days before the killing, he learnt of Andreen’s intention to cut him out of a stake in her company.
A jury returned the guilty verdict for manslaughter after deliberating for more than 10 hours on Friday.
The younger McDonald was initially on trial for murder and tampering with evidence.
In reacting to the verdict, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales told Kens5 News that “it’s not what we expected, not what we hoped for”.
But in underscoring that the prosecution respected the jury’s decision, Gonazles said the focus now is on asking the judge to consider the maximum sentence of 20 years for McDonald.
The sentencing hearing is expected to kick off on Monday, with the decision of the sentence expected later in the week.
At the trial which began last month, Andreen’s mother, as well as a close friend, told the court that McDonald had confessed to the murder on the phone.
But in court, the Jamaican-born man basically confessed to having harmed his wife during a physical dispute, causing her death.
Of the incident, the younger McDonald said about midnight on March 1, 2019, he and his wife had an argument shortly after he arrived at their San Antonio home, during which she was cursing at him and hurled sexually charged and homophobic insults, including reference to his mother.
Andreen McDonald making a business presentation.
After threatening her with a divorce, McDonald said Andreen spat in his face and charged at him, following which their heads collided.
He said she rushed into the bathroom to examine a wound that was bleeding, but when he tried to assist her, she rushed at him.
He testified that he threw her to the ground and kicked her twice, but said he could not recall where on her body he kicked her.
The news report said McDonald then heard footsteps and realised that the couple’s six-year-old daughter, Elena, may have seen or heard the commotion in his and his wife’s master bedroom.
After taking the child away after he saw Andreen wheezing on the floor, McDonald said he returned to the bedroom.
“I made it over and grabbed her face and then feel a pulse. I put my ear next to her nose to see if she was breathing, and she was not,” McDonald said during the trial, adding that he then contemplated calling 911.
“Honestly, man, I became pretty frantic at that point. She’s dead on the floor. We just had a fight. Obviously I’m going to get blamed for this,” the younger McDonald recalled in court.
Kens5 News reported that McDonald testified that he became angry after learning Andreen, a then businesswoman and a native of Portland, Jamaica, had left his name out of a business decision.
“It’s not every day you find out your wife’s ripping you off,” McDonald also said in court.
He said by the time of those developments, their marriage was already crumbling, especially when he learnt of Andreen’s purported rekindling of a relationship with an ex-boyfriend in Jamaica.
McDonald also confessed to dragging Andreen’s body out the house, beating it in the process with a hammer in a fit of rage, setting it on fire, and dumping the remains.
“I get really angry, so at that point I pour like the gas on her and I lit the fire,” McDonald recalled, adding that “At that point, I got, like, really [email protected]#ed off and just start hitting the body with the hammer.”
Continuing, he said: “I remember the claw (of the hammer) got stuck in her neck, and I was, like, ripping the hammer out.
“I thought I was done (hitting the body), but as I was starting to walk away I get, like, one more whack somewhere on the body, I’m not sure where that was.”
McDonald told the court that he felt like he was a victim in the situation, and blamed Andreen for destroying their lives.
He again explained the reason why he felt so angry and went back to Andreen’s body to hit her and set her on fire.
“The reason why I’m really, really angry is just because I’m thinking of this whole situation, like, I leave the house just to avoid the very situation that I’m in – a confrontation with Andreen,” he testified, adding that he regretted not driving to Houston on the night of February 28, 2019, instead of returning home.
“…. And all of this in my opinion, like, could have been avoided. Like, if Andreen wanted to go be with someone else, she was free to do that. She had a degree. She owned half of a business, like, why would she need to go through all this stuff to try to get it all?
“… And then in my opinion at that point, I’m thinking, that’s what the whole thing about going to Jamaica was, to try to get this dude (her ex-boyfriend) to, like, put me off so she could get everything,” McDonald was quoted as saying at the trial.
When asked why he did not tell anyone where Andreen’s body was, McDonald said he thought the body would have been found in a day or two.
However, it took investigators over four months to find her remains. It was discovered on a private property in the San Antonio area on July 11, 2019.
Two days later, Bexar County Sheriff officially announced that the remains were that of Andreen, and McDonald was later charged.
Of his non-involvement in the search for her body, McDonald said:
“Why would I make any efforts if I already know she’s dead?
“I’m not going to go out in the field and pretend and do some charade or something and pretend going out doing fake searches with people and passing out flyers,” he added.
“Why would I do any of that? That’s a screw-up on top of what already happened,” McDonald testified.
Further quizzed on why he waited almost four years to confess, McDonald stated: “When I got arrested for the case I decided at that point I was just going to dig in and wait until I went to court ’cause I didn’t really, like, trust the police or maybe the DA’s office trying to twist words against me or try to manipulate that stuff.
“I decided my best bet was to wait until I go to court and then I’ll tell the truth,” he said.
On Monday, the state’s second-to-last witness, Tony Cobrin of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, returned to the witness stand and outlined McDonald’s internet search history.
Among the things the now convict searched for was related to DNA, bloodstains and skeletal remains.
The prosecution’s final witness at the trial was Andreen’s father, Paul Anderson, who flew from England, where he has been residing since 2004.
He testified that he was aware of the couple’s marital problems, and said he even advised his daughter to seek counselling.
Anderson also said he was aware that McDonald was physically abusive to his daughter, but said he encouraged her to work it out.
He said he last spoke to his daughter a day before she went missing on February 28, 2019, and said she was crying at the time.
Andreen, who is originally from Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica, was last seen alive on Thursday, February 28, 2019, and reported missing the next day at about 1pm.
McDonald was charged on Sunday, March 3, 2019 for tampering with evidence in connection with his wife’s disappearance.
He was released from custody at Bexar County Jail on April 2 of that year, after posting a reduced bail amount of US$300,000, and was then turned over to the military.
Bail had been originally set at US$2 million, but was lowered after his attorney argued that the bail for that offence (tampering with evidence) was excessive.
The sheriff’s office theorised that foul play was involved because investigators discovered blood traces at the McDonalds’ Timberwood Park home in San Antonio, Texas, and found that her husband had bought a shovel, an axe, gas cans, heavy-duty trash bags and other items that deputies believed were intended to be used to dispose of his wife’s body, according to court documents.
McDonald was also found to have attempted to destroy receipts for of the particular items that he had purchased.
After forensic evidence proved that skeletal remains that had been found were of Andreen in July 2019, McDonald was charged with her murder.
Relatives of Andreen McDonald indicated that she and Andre first met in Florida, though they both originated from Port Antonio, Jamaica.
Public records showed that Andre and Andreen were married in Florida on July 9, 2009. He was previously married in Florida, and was divorced there.
After the pair arrived in San Antonio, Andreen attended the University of Texas and earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Finance.
With support from her husband, Andreen, at age 22 year, launched a business called Starlight Homes Assisted Living, according to the company’s website.
However, the couple’s marriage, which produced a six-year-old daughter, had been marked with arguments, at least in recent years, according to at least one employee and police records.
In addition, court documents in the US revealed that the missing Jamaican woman had warned friends that if she disappeared, it would be because her husband had killed her.
McDonald’s father, Everton, is to stand trial on September 18, 2023 for the murder of his second wife, Tonia Hamilton-McDonald, in July 2020 in Portland.
Astor ‘Tiny’ Barnes, the senior McDonald’s co-accused, is also to face trial on that date.
In relation to a murder charge relative to the death of his first wife, Merlene, at her Boundbrook, Port Antonio, Portland home in May 2009, Everton McDonald is to return to court in January 25, 2024 for a plea and case management hearing.