Andre McDonald provides jury play-by-play of wife’s slaying, disposal of her body at his murder trial

Air Force major takes stand in his own defense, claims Andreen McDonald was the aggressor when he killed her

SAN ANTONIO – An Air Force major on trial for the 2019 slaying of his wife took the stand in his own defense Monday, telling a jury that he was defending himself when a fight between the couple turned fatal and he panicked and had no choice but to get rid of her body.

Andre McDonald told jurors on Day 6 of his trial that what started as a loving marriage all changed when he discovered his wife, Andreen McDonald, was having an affair and tried to start a new business in her name.

The defendant said that on Feb. 28, 2019, he noticed during a visit to an H&R Block location that some paperwork for construction for an assisted-living facility didn’t include his name but both of their assets were funding the business.

“That meant to me that she was robbing me,” Andre McDonald said. “It’s not every day you find out your wife is ripping you off.”

WATCH: Andre McDonald describes killing his wife, getting rid of her body

The couple continued to argue about the business when it came to a head later that night at their home. Andre McDonald said he and his wife got into an argument in their master bedroom when he told her that he was going to visit a divorce lawyer that next day. The defendant said that Andreen McDonald got really upset and yelled at him and spit in his face. He said that’s when he grabbed her face and they “had a clash of heads,” which caused a cut on her cheek.

She then ran into the bathroom and turned on the light switch to get a look at the injury.

“When she sees the mark on her face, she got extremely angry and threw some punches,” Andre McDonald testified. The defendant said he had no choice but to defend himself and he tripped her to the ground.

“I landed a couple of kicks to knock the wind out of her,” he said.

Andre McDonald said he noticed their special-needs daughter on the stairs and he took her back to bed. He said when he returned, he noticed Andreen McDonald wasn’t breathing.

“She’s not moving, she was not breathing. At that point, I got pretty frantic. She’s dead on the floor. Obviously, I’m gonna get blamed for this, it was a scary situation,” Andre McDonald said.

The defendant said his next move was to get rid of her body.

“I drug her in plastic bags through the house. I got her in the trunk,” he said.

WATCH: Andreen McDonald’s father testifies at his son-in-law’s trial

Andre McDonald then described how he ditched the body at a field on Specht Road in north Bexar County.

McDonald said he went back to the site a second time with a flashlight, a hammer and a gas can with the intention of hitting her body with a hammer and lighting it on fire because he was angry at Andreen because “she caused this whole circumstance.”

When asked by prosecutors if he went back just to desecrate her body, McDonald responded, “I don’t know if you can desecrate a body with a hammer, sir, but you can hit it pretty hard.”

McDonald said he covered her body with gasoline and lit it on fire. When the fire went out after a few minutes, he hit her face, neck and body with the hammer.

“At that point, I’m really angry because all of this could have been avoided,” he testified.

McDonald said he covered Andreen’s body with some cow bones he found on the property.

WATCH: Highlights from Day 6 of the Andre McDonald murder trial

It would be months before the remains would be found, which surprised the defendant.

“I was sort of expecting that she would be found, but I was surprised it took that long,” he said.

Defense attorneys tried to show that Andreen McDonald was the aggressor in their relationship by showing a video of her carrying her husband on her back through their home and a video of her lifting some heavy weights in the gym.

The prosecution aimed to project the defendant as a killer with no remorse. When asked why he didn’t call 911 when Andreen McDonald was on the floor in their home, Andre McDonald replied, “I didn’t think she was in critical condition. I wasn’t thinking of getting help because there was nobody to help. I didn’t think of anyone reviving a dead person.”

Prosecutors also pointed out that when Andre McDonald went to dispose of the body, he left their daughter alone in their home in the middle of the night.

“Why would I want to take my daughter to move her dead mother,” the defendant said.

Both sides rested their case Monday and the trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Andre McDonald could face up to life in prison if he is found guilty of murder. A lesser charge of manslaughter could be added to the charge for the jury’s consideration when they go into deliberations, which could happen as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Follow the Andre McDonald Murder Trial:


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.