Family of Andreen McDonald seeks more than $1 million in wrongful death lawsuit against Andre McDonald

Plaintiff’s attorneys say they’re unsure if Andre McDonald will be in court

SAN ANTONIO – Twenty years in prison is not punishment enough for Andre McDonald, according to the family of the woman he admitted to killing. They’re seeking “exemplary damages” in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Jury selection is scheduled to start on Tuesday in a civil lawsuit filed by Andreen McDonald’s mother, her child and her estate. The trial will be heard in the 288th District Court. Attorneys for Andreen’s family told KSAT they’re unsure if Andre McDonald will be in court for the trial.

The lawsuit alleges that Andre McDonald killed Andreen for financial gain.

“Plaintiffs have been caused to sustain mental anguish, pecuniary loss, and loss of society from the time of the incident in question up to the present time, and will, in all probability, continue to suffer such mental anguish in the future,” the lawsuit states.

Last February, 399th District Court Judge Frank Castro sentenced McDonald to the maximum 20-year sentence after a jury convicted him on a lesser charge of manslaughter. He was also sentenced to an additional 5 years in prison in a plea deal for a charge of tampering with evidence.

The jury declined to convict him of murder despite McDonald’s own testimony that, in 2019, he kicked Andreen McDonald to death and then dumped her body, burned it and tried to cover up her remains with cow bones.

The violence that caused her death happened in front of their special needs child.

During victim-impact statements, Andreen McDonald’s sister and father addressed Andre McDonald and a victim’s advocate read a letter from his daughter, Alayna.

Cindy Johnson, Andreen’s sister, asked Andre, “Why choose murder in the first degree? Why not divorce? You can think that you cannot escape your actions, you cannot escape God.”

She also told the defendant that he had “no respect, no remorse, (for) your ruthless actions.”

Paul Anderson, Andreen McDonald’s father, was merciful to his son-in-law, forgiving him for his actions.

“You hurt my family. We spoke like fathers. You hurt me. In spite of everything, I forgive you. I love you, that cannot change. A part of me is going to jail. I forgive you, and it’s your duty to see God forgive you,” Anderson said.

The letter from Alayna McDonald said:

“To Andre McDonald: You killed my mother. You took away my life and you broke my heart. And you hurt my feelings. And you will pay for what you did. You will be punished forever.”

More Andre McDonald trial coverage:

About the Authors

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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.

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