Sasha Skare takes stand in her own defense in murder trial

Jurors also shown final texts between Skare and murder victim

SAN ANTONIO – After a 35-second opening argument made by the defense on Wednesday, Bexar County jurors heard directly from Sasha Skare on the second day of her murder trial.

She’s accused of fatally shooting Martell Derouen, a San Antonio rapper related to Beyoncé, in January 2021.

Skare broke down during her testimony, which lasted nearly an hour and a half.

She said she did not mean to hurt Derouen.

“My intent was just to get his attention,” Skare said as she wiped away tears.

Skare revealed to jurors that she got the gun from a nightstand in Derouen’s room.

“After I grabbed it, I told him, ‘Don’t touch me,’” she testified.

Skare said she was in fear for her life.

Earlier in her testimony, Skare said she met Derouen after he messaged her on Instagram, asking her to be in one of his music videos.

Skare said she worked with him to make flyers for shows and helped Derouen record his music.

When asked by her defense attorney, Skare said she and Derouen had a months-long sexual relationship.

Skare told jurors that Derouen would pick her up from her home in Austin and bring her to his apartment in San Antonio.

That’s what she testified happened on Jan. 22, 2021. Skare said they were planning for upcoming shows.

Skare testified that she made dinner for herself and Derouen and ate it while watching TV. She also said they were drinking and smoking marijuana that evening.

After dinner, Skare testified that she answered a FaceTime call from a photographer who she said was helping her with one of her next music videos.

Skare said she was in the kitchen, and Derouen was in the living area.

Skare testified that after the FaceTime call, she went and laid in the bed at Derouen’s apartment.

“He asked me to leave, and I just asked him why,” Skare said on the stand.

Derouen and Skare got into a verbal argument, which turned physical. She testified that Derouen “was upset because he felt like I was on the phone with another man.”

Her attorney showed jurors crime scene photos of a broken bed.

Skare said it broke because Derouen tackled her.

“He was hitting me, choking me until the point where I couldn’t breathe,” she testified.

Jurors were shown pictures of Skare, which she said were taken days after, showing a bruise under her eye and scratches on her neck.

After grabbing the gun from Derouen’s nightstand, Skare said she threw dishes at him.

Skare said she ran out of the apartment barefoot, grabbing her phone and the gun.

Skare testified that she borrowed a neighbor’s charger for her phone, then went back and banged on Derouen’s door with the gun in hand.

The gun, Skare said, went off as she knocked on the door.

Skare said she called 911 from a stairwell after the shot was fired, giving the operator a false name.

“At that time, I wasn’t really in the right mind,” Skare testified, adding that she did not know if Derouen was hurt.

A prosecutor asked Skare why she raised a gun in the first place.

“I just went mad,” she said. “I just went insane.”

Earlier in the day, jurors also saw text messages from Jan. 22, 2021, between Skare and Derouen.

“Bring my gun back and get yo stuff,” Derouen wrote. “You attacked me and defended myself.”

Jurors also watched a cellphone video taken by a neighbor who lived below Derouen’s apartment.

As the sound of yelling in the video played in the courtroom, Skare showed emotion for the first time as she began to cry.

Both the state and defense rested their cases Wednesday afternoon.

Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday, and KSAT will stream it live.

The jury will then begin deliberations.

If the jury finds Skare guilty, she faces up to life in prison.


About the Authors:

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 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.