SAN ANTONIO – An alleged affair and bloody evidence were part of what was revealed during a pretrial hearing Wednesday in the murder case of Air Force Major Andre McDonald.
McDonald will soon be on trial for the 2019 murder of his wife, Andreen McDonald.
A jury was selected on Tuesday but opening statements were put off until a pretrial hearing took place as the defense was looking to suppress evidence the prosecution plans to present.
During the hearing, the court heard from several witnesses.
One of them was Andreen McDonald’s friend, Carol Ghanbar, who was the first person to notify authorities that Andreen was missing.
Ghanbar said one of Andreen McDonald’s employees called saying she hadn’t reported to work on March 1, 2019 and nobody could get a hold of her.
Ghanbar said through her friendship with Andreen McDonald, she revealed her marriage was having problems and that arguments with Andre McDonald often got physical.
“Many times she said if anything happened to her, she would always say that Andre did it,” Ghanbar said.
Ghanbar said when she went to look for Andreen McDonald at her home, nobody answered the door, so she went around the back and entered the house.
Ghanbar said at first she didn’t notice anything unusual inside the home but dog feces. When she entered Andreen McDonald’s master bathroom, she saw blood and hair on a light switch.
“I was thinking Andreen was dead,” Ghanbar said.
During cross examination, the defense questioned Ghanbar about entering the house without permission and also about her conversations with Bexar County Sheriff Office investigators about the case.
Andreen McDonald’s mother, Maureen Smith, also took the stand and testified how Ghanbar called to tell her she was worried about her daughter.
When Smith lived with Andreen and Andre McDonald, she was working the night Andreen McDonald disappeared.
The defense asked Smith whether BCSO asked permission to go inside and to search the home they said she didn’t own. Smith said she allowed BCSO into the home when they arrived.
It was also revealed during testimony by Ghanbar and Smith that Andreen McDonald was having an alleged affair with a man in Jamaica and had visited him a little over a month before she disappeared.
Ultimately it will be 399th District Court Judge Frank Castro’s decision whether to allow or suppress the evidence the defense doesn’t want in the trial.
The actual trial isn’t expected to begin until Monday, Jan 23. If found guilty, McDonald faces up to life in prison.
To catch up on this case, watch “Open Court: The Trial of Andre McDonald” out now on KSAT Plus and KSAT’s YouTube channel.