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Crime News Domestic Violence

Former Air Force Major Accused Of Wife's Murder Gives Shocking Details During Testimony

In a San Antonio courtroom, Andre McDonald, 43, detailed the physical scuffle over money and fidelity that allegedly led him to deal his wife, 29-year-old Andreen McDonald, a fatal blow.

By Christina Coulter
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

Former Air Force Major Andre McDonald took the stand in his own defense in San Antonio on Monday, detailing how he murdered his wife, transported her body and later desecrated her corpse with gasoline and a claw hammer.

In his four hours of testimony, filmed and published to YouTube by the Law & Crime Network, 43-year-old McDonald told jurors in a Bexar County Court that he was acting in self-defense when he dealt his wife a fatal blow on Feb. 28, 2019.

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That day, he said, he learned that 29-year-old Andreen McDonald left his name off a document establishing their shared assisted-living business while they reviewed tax files at an H&R Block. The document in question was submitted into evidence and projected onto a screen for the courtroom.

“It’s not every day you find out your wife’s ripping you off,” McDonald said.

The slight was especially painful, he says, because he had recently discovered now-deceased Andreen was in communication with a previous boyfriend from their home country of Jamaica.  

Andreen and Andre McDonald

After the revelations at the tax preparation office, McDonald said he left the couple's home and went to a nearby park to collect himself. When he arrived back home, he said, he told his wife that he intended to file for divorce.

This, he claimed, sent Andreen into a rage. He alleges that she began cursing him in Jamaican Patois, calling him a homophobic slur and telling him to perform oral sex on his mother. In Jamaica, he testified, these would be considered “fighting words.”

McDonald said he sought refuge in the couple’s bedroom, but that his wife tore after him. He claimed that his attempts to deescalate the situation were unsuccessful. In anger, he made a comment about splitting their shared business in their upcoming divorce, he said, which allegedly sent her deeper into a rage.

Andreen continued to insult him in their native language, then spit in his face, McDonald claimed. At that point, he said, he grabbed her face and slammed his forehead into hers, causing her to bleed.

“At that point, it’s just, like, reflex. I grabbed her, because she’s, like, right in front of me. I grabbed her head. I think we had, like, a clash of heads and I think it opened up, like, a cut somewhere on her face,” he said.

After inspecting her face in the mirror, he said, his wife became “extremely angry.”

Then Andreen, whom McDonald frequently mentioned was “big” and stood taller than he did, allegedly began to throw punches and attack him. He claimed that “when she was attacking me, I was basically trying to defend myself.”

“When she comes, she’s throwing some punches so I’m trying to go down and keep my face from, like, getting hit with the blows ... that’s a normal reaction from any human being when you’re under attack, you’re going to try to defend yourself.”

He intentionally tripped his wife, he said, then began to kick her. After he “landed, like, a couple kicks,” he heard “some type of wheezing come out of her.”

The scuffle lasted about a minute, McDonald said. Then, he claimed, he heard his autistic 7-year-old daughter get out of bed, and went to put her to bed before she could see her mother on the ground.

“It was probably a hard kick,” he admitted. “I heard her wheezing so at the time, I just thought she had the wind knocked out of her so she probably already caught her breath. She probably called the police and made up some story.”

But when he returned, he said, Andreen no longer had a pulse.

“Honestly man, I became pretty frantic at that point,” he testified.

“She’s dead on the floor. We just had a fight. Obviously, I’m going to get blamed for this and I’ve got a 7-year-old autistic kid upstairs. Who’s going to take care of her?”

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After taking a moment to collect his thoughts outside, McDonald said he got two trash bags from the garage, pulling one over his wife's head and the other up over her feet.

“I think I used like a belt or something to tie those two bags together. And then I drug her through the house. Through the front door.”

McDonald reiterated that his wife was “pretty big,” and described his difficulty getting her corpse into the trunk of his Chevy Malibu, recalling that he needed to lift her body into a standing position against the back of the vehicle before shouldering her legs into the trunk.

He said that he resolved to “just get her out of the house” and then “pretend I don’t know where she is.”

He drove the corpse to a soccer field on Specht Road in north Bexar County, where he said he often went to watch games. Nearby was a large swathe of land behind a fence.

“I remember there was a dead cow right next to where I ended up,” he recalled, describing the process of hiding Andreen’s corpse. He said he “[left] the body there” without burying it, and “just had the weird idea that [he] probably should just take [the] clothes” off her body before leaving.

He ended up burning his wife’s clothes — and possibly his own, he wasn’t sure — in a plastic bucket in his backyard, he said.

But his involvement with his wife's corpse didn't end there. The next day, he was confronted by his wife's family and authorities about his wife's whereabouts. He refused to speak with police and was released.

“I’m just thinking, if only I knew what was going to happen when I went back to the house, I would have probably just left the gas station and drove to Houston that night and never come back or something like that,” he said.

“And then I started feeling for myself, like, man, why the hell does this s--t happen to me of all people. Why the hell did this have to happen to me?”

“The pity just kinda went away and now it was just, like, pure rage and anger.”

He then returned to the spot where he dumped his wife’s corpse. At that point, he said, he was “angry as hell.”

In his rage, he admitted, he began to desecrate his wife’s body.

“I poured the gas on her and I lit the fire,” he said.

But the blaze quickly died out.

“At this point, you know, I got a hammer, and, you know. The body’s, like, right there. So at that point, I just got really pissed off. I started, like, hitting the body with a hammer.”

McDonald could not remember where all of the blows landed, but said that he struck her with the hammer “multiple times.” Then he turned the tool around and struck her with the claw side, where it became lodged in her neck. He then “ripped the hammer out,” he said.

“I think I thought I was done, but as I like, by the time I walk away, I give it like one more whack,” he admitted.

When the state’s attorney asked whether McDonald intended to desecrate his wife’s corpse upon returning to the site, he seemed to misunderstand the question.

“I don’t know if you can desecrate a body with a hammer, sir, but you can hit it pretty hard.”

Andreen’s remains were not found until July of 2019, according to reporting by KSAT.

Prosecutors asked McDonald why he waited four years to confess to his wife's murder. 

"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."

McDonald could face life in prison if he is found guilty of murder. However, the jury could decide to convict him for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2.

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