Family of domestic violence victim says perpetrator should have never been free

Ryan Stanush, 33, died Saturday after attacking sister and deputy at scene, BCSO says

On Saturday, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed Ryan Stanush in the 8000 block of Versant Bluff after Stanush attacked his sister and the deputy.

This comes almost five years after the death of Stanush’s former girlfriend Dorinda Ma.

“She made a real big impact on her students that she taught,” Edward Ma, Dorinda’s brother, said.

Dorinda was formerly a teacher with Teach for America in the Rio Grande Valley.

Edward says following her death, Dorinda’s students wrote letters to their family expressing their condolences for her loss.

“She always lived her life to the fullest. Everyone who knows her has nothing but good things to say,” Danielle Ma, Dorinda’s sister, said.

Danielle wants people to remember Dorinda as the “creative, kindhearted, vibrant person” that she was.

It’s been nearly five years since they heard their sister Dorinda’s voice, but the grief is still ever-present for her siblings.

“You live day by day, and you try to support each other and be there for each other,” Danielle said.

In December 2018, Dorinda was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to the hospital with severe injuries caused by her then-boyfriend, Ryan Stanush.

Stanush eventually pleaded no contest to a manslaughter charge and was sentenced to 10 years of community supervision.

“For years, our family didn’t feel like it was justified at all,” Danielle said.

Stanush made headlines Saturday morning after punching his sister and attacking a BCSO deputy.

“If the incident with Dorinda, if the outcome was different. You know, I think if they would have put him away, then this wouldn’t have happened,” Matthew Tran, Dorinda’s brother-in-law, said.

Dorinda’s family says the special prosecutor on her case didn’t feel they had enough evidence to convict Stanush on a murder charge, so the charge was reduced to manslaughter.

Marta Prada-Pelaez with Family Violence Prevention Services says domestic violence cases face their own set of challenges.

“There are many of them, depending on the circumstances of the victim. And every case presents, I believe, a different set of challenges,” Pelaez said.

She says that can range from victims recanting statements to judicial knowledge of domestic violence.

Regardless, she says that’s no excuse for not uprising harsh punishment.

“Her voice has been quieted. But whatever happened and whatever transpired can be dealt within the provision of the law,” Pelaez said.

Both Dorinda’s family and Pelaez feel Stanush’s actions toward her were a warning of his potential for further violence.

“Absolutely,” Tran said “100%,” Danielle added.

“Domestic violence is progressive. You can anticipate that someone who has been abusive at any level will re-incite again,” Pelaez said.

Our KSAT Investigates team dug into court records, they found Stanush had violated his community supervision multiple times.

The special prosecutor filed several motions to revoke his probation and change adjudication in Dorinda’s death to guilty as recently as May 19.


About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Alexis Montalbo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.