Missing Jamaican woman's husband gets reduced bail in the US
Air Force Reserve Major, Andre Sean McDonald, who is accused of trying to destroy evidence relating to the disappearance of his Jamaican-born wife in the United States, reportedly smiled widely in court there on Wednesday when his bail amount was significantly reduced.
Andreen McDonald, 29, who is originally from Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica, was last seen alive on Thursday, February, 28, and was reported missing the next day at about 1:00 p.m.
According to Bexar County Sheriff, Javier Salazar, McDonald is feared dead based on evidence found at the couple’s Timberwood Park-area home in San Antonio, Texas.
Andre McDonald's bond was reduced by Bexar County judge, Frank J Castro, from US$2 million to US$300,000.
During the bail hearing, McDonald's attorney, John Convery, argued that the original bail was excessive, given the charges. Prosecutors countered, stating that McDonald is a threat and flight risk, and asked that his original bail amount remain.
However, the judge sided with the defence, and his decision left McDonald smiling in the courtroom, according to US media reports.
In addition to the accused bail amount being reduced, he was ordered to wear a GPS locator and be on full house arrest, but he is allowed to go to work.
He must also have no contact with his daughter, who is residing with relatives.
Based on court documents, the accused Air Force Reserve Major is due back in court on April 24, for a routine pre-indictment appearance.
Andre McDonald, who is also Jamaican-born, was charged on Sunday, March 3 for tampering with evidence in connection with his wife's disappearance. He has been in jail since then, after failing to post bail.
The sheriff’s office had theorised that foul play was involved, because investigators discovered blood traces at the McDonalds’ home, and found her husband had bought a shovel, an axe, gas cans, heavy-duty trash bags and other items that deputies believe were going to be used to dispose of her body, according to court documents.
McDonald was then arrested after investigators said he attempted to destroy receipts of the items he had purchased.
Meanwhile, despite extensive searches by investigators around the couple's home and on Camp Bullis in San Antonio, Texas, Andreen's body has still not been found four weeks after her disappearance.
Relatives of Andreen McDonald had indicated that she and Andre first met in Florida. They are from the same town in Jamaica; Port Antonio in the parish of Portland, where Andreen attended Norwich Primary and Titchfield High schools, before migrating.
Public records show Andre and Andreen were married in Florida on July 9, 2009. He was previously married in Florida, and was divorced there.
After the pair arrived in San Antonio, Andreen attended the University of Texas in San Antonio and earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree in finance. With support from her husband, Andreen, at age 22, launched a business called Starlight Homes Assisted Living, according to the company’s website.
However, the couple’s marriage, which produced a six-year-old daughter, had been marked with arguments, at least in recent years, according to at least one employee and police records.
In addition, court documents in the United States revealed that the missing Jamaican woman had warned friends that if she disappeared, it would be because her husband had killed her.
Arrest documents for Andre McDonald describe how friends and family requested that law enforcement conduct a welfare check at the couple's home after Andreen McDonald failed to show up for work on March 1.
Friends and family told the deputy conducting the welfare check that they suspected foul play in her disappearance, based on blood traces and other items they saw inside the couple's home.