Murder suspect seeks to exclude admission of grisly details in trial

Andres Tarnava charged with fatally shooting, dismembering and burning Marisol Klingelhofer in 2021

SAN ANTONIO – An accused murderer is fighting to prevent his confession from becoming evidence in his trial.

Andres Tarnava was charged with the April 2021 murder of Marisol Klingelhofer.

According to the arrest affidavit, Tarnava confessed to not only shooting Klingelhofer but also dismembering her body and burning her remains in a barrel.

The defense is trying to suppress the confession from the upcoming trial. Tarnava’s defense is arguing their client didn’t voluntarily confess.

On Wednesday, the state asked lead investigator Brett Peters, a Texas Ranger, if proper procedures were conducted before Tarnava was questioned.

Peters said his Miranda Rights were read and that Tarnava waived them.

Parts of the nearly eight-hour video were shown during the hearing, including the portion where Tarnava waived his rights.

The court also heard Tarnava explain to investigators that he was angry with Klingelhofer because he believed she stole his late father’s wallet.

Tarnava then explained in Spanish that he used motor oil to burn Klingelhofer’s remains.

Peters said that Tarnava’s confession was accurate to evidence they found at his home. They discovered a burnt barrel where bones inside were confirmed to be Klingelhofer’s.

A ruling on the motion to suppress won’t be made until the judge has reviewed the entire video.

Tarnava is expected to go to trial in March. Because Tarnava is being classified as a habitual offender, he could face 25 to 99 years or life in prison if he is found guilty.

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About the Authors

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.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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