Following his guilty verdict on Friday for the charge of manslaughter, U.S. Air Force Major Andre McDonald has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the death of his wife, Andreen McDonald.
McDonald confessed to killing his wife last week but said it was done in self-defense. Andreen was killed on March 1, 2019, after an argument erupted into a physical altercation. According to McDonald’s testimony, he discovered Andreen had omitted his name from a business deal, so he felt betrayed and defrauded.
McDonald said that after threatening to file for divorce, Andreen attacked him in the bedroom. After kicking her while she was on the ground, he took their daughter Elena to bed and discovered that Andreen was dead when he returned.
After conducting deliberations over two days, a jury found McDonald guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter last week after finding him not guilty of murder. During Monday’s sentencing hearing, the prosecution requested the maximum 20-year prison sentence, citing the major’s lack of remorse and attempts to hide what he had done. The defence argued that he had a clean military and criminal record before killing his wife and highlighted McDonald’s act of kindness in setting up a trust fund for his autistic daughter.
Judge Frank Castro acknowledged that the only time the major had displayed emotion during the trial was when Elena had been discussed. But Castro said that it was devastating that McDonald had killed his wife in the presence of their daughter. The judge went on to describe the mutilation and disposal of Andreen’s body in a field mixed with animal bones as “sickening.”
Speaking during the victim impact statements, Paul Anderson, Andreen’s father, said that he wished for no vengeance to be carried out as justice had been served. Anderson also told McDonald that he had forgiven him.
“…. I don’t know how I’m going to live this out, but I forgive you, and it’s your duty to seek God’s forgiveness,” Anderson stated.
McDonald’s daughter was not present during the sentencing, but a letter penned by the 11-year-old was read by the court coordinator.
“You killed my mother, took away my life, broke my heart, and hurt my feelings, and you will pay for what you did, and you will be punished forever,” the letter stated.
Due to his time already spent in jail, McDonald will now be available for parole in 7.5 years instead of half his 20-year sentence.
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