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Air Force Major Andre McDonald admitted to killing his wife, victim's family testifies

Bombshell testimony in the courtroom Monday revealed an alleged confession by Air Force Major Andre McDonald, who faces life in prison if convicted.

SAN ANTONIO — Bombshell testimony in the courtroom Monday revealed an alleged confession by Air Force Major Andre McDonald, who faces life in prison if found guilty of killing his wife in 2019. 

Testimony from Andreen McDonald's sister and mother illustrated a 41-minute phone call taken last Friday where Andre admitted to stomping on his wife until she died over a business-related argument. 

The prosecution introduced Cindy Ann Johnson to the witness stand after delivering opening statements. Johnson, Andreen’s half-sister, said she missed a phone call from McDonald on Thursday night. She called back Friday morning and learned the grizzly details of what happened to Andreen.

Johnson said an argument about business at an H&R Block on Feb. 28 escalated into a physical confrontation at their home off Solitude Cove in north Bexar County. Johnson said the nature of the quarrel dealt with Andreen removing Andre's name off a property deed.

Andreen owned and ran an assisted living facility business.

According to Johnson's testimony, Andreen cursed at Andre while at the tax office when Andre expressed opposition to the business change. 

Johnson said Andre told her over the phone he stomped on Andreen with his foot while she was on the ground as their 6-year-old daughter Elena watched. She said Andreen didn't fight back.

The phone call revealed Andre noticed Andreen wheezing and then took his daughter to bed. After he returned, he noticed Andreen was dead.

“I think he took off her clothes and burn it and then put her body in the car,” Johnson said. “He said that it was because he found out what she was doing about the business, and it has nothing to do with what everybody is thinking.”

Johnson was alluding to Andreen’s rekindled relationship with an ex in Jamaica she had been visiting. 

Andreen's mother, Hyacinth Maureen Smith, was unable to hold back tears as she was questioned about her daughter's death.

Prosecutors asked why Andre told them about what he allegedly did to Andreen. 

“He said he wanted me to know the truth," Smith said.

Opening statements from the prosecution described a summarized timeline of events regarding Andreen's murder and Andre's role in the crime. 

It took five months for the community and law enforcement to locate Andreen's body, which was discovered  just 10 minutes from her home in north Bexar County.

The defense's three-minute opening began with attorney John Convery stating: "This is not a murder case, but it is a case about the degree and level of responsibility. It's a responsibility case. The degree and level of the responsibility of Major Andre McDonald for the death of Andreen McDonald."

"What happened in the brief time upstairs on Solitude Cove is simply not murder. That's what the evidence is going to reveal," Convery said.

Other witnesses who testified Monday included Carol Ann Ghanbar, Andreen's friend who along with Elizabeth Cancel, visited the McDonald's residence after learning she was missing. Inside the bathroom, Ghanbar and Cancel discovered blood and hair on the light switch.

Last week, McDonald's defense team worked to get certain evidence thrown out, saying law enforcement violated McDonald’s fourth amendment rights when they searched his home on March 1 and 2.

This led to his initial arrest and the tampering with evidence charge.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge granted the suppression of evidence.

It’s related to what he called an illegal arrest outside of a gun store.

The judge also threw out evidence after officials found a note on McDonald when he was first in custody.

On it, a list of items including gas cans, knives and flashlights.

Several witnesses have testified, including one of Andreen’s friends, Andreen’s mother, and law enforcement.

We expect to hear more from Andreen’s friends and family, along with Andre’s loved ones.

There have been some questions about if McDonald still holds his rank as major.

We're told he does, partly because the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office filed charges against him.

The U.S. Air Force Reserve hasn’t taken disciplinary action against him so far.

The trial is expected to last a few weeks.

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