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Pre-trial Hearing Approaching

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A pre-trial hearing is set for September 3, 2019 for Andre McDonald, husband and suspect in the case of slain mother Andreen McDonald.

On Friday, March 1, 2019 the 29-year-old business woman, missing wife and mother Andreen Nicole McDonald was reported as missing after she didn’t show up for work and never returned to her northside home. Andreen was the owner of Starlight Homes Assisted Living.

Several disturbing activities came about during the entire investigation until her bones were discovered on July 11, on a private property within 20 square miles of where investigators had been searching.  On Saturday, July 13, 2019 Sheriff Javier Salazar confirmed in a press conference that the search for Andreen Mc Donald was “officially over.”  Prior to her remains being discovered, back in early March Mr. McDonald was arrested and charged with evidence tampering.  According to multiple reports, evidence such as a shovel, gloves, an ax, gasoline, blood were discovered at the home. On April 4, charred human remains were found along Highway 211 in Bexar County, but later determined they were not the remains of Andreen McDonald but those of 39-year-old Norma Pacheco.  In the midst of the search according to reports, there is a possibility that the couple’s young daughter may have witnessed the murder of her mother at the alleged hands of her father.

Family, Friends, and the City of San Antonio will remain prayerful that justice will be served and that the young child who hasn’t seen either parent since March 1st will be placed in proper hands with family.

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Woman Who Could Have Been Released for $30 Dies After Spending 150 Days in Custody

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Janice Dotson-Stephens, a 61-year old Black woman, died while in custody five months after being arrested for misdemeanor charges, in which she could have been released on bond for only $30. Her family, who didn’t know that she had been in jail until she died, is suing the authorities involved, claiming that Dotson-Stephens could not have been jailed in the first place because she is mentally ill.

Dotson-Stephens was arrested on a criminal trespass charge after consistently telling the police that she wouldn’t leave the Mt. Zion elder community at San Antonio on July 17. According to a police report, she told the officers that the only place she would go is the jail. The officers did so and booked her into the Bexar County Jail.

Her bail was set to $300, and because most bail bond companies would only require at least 10 percent payment to be bailed out, she could have been released for just $30. But she died five months after her arrest. The medical examiner’s office stated that she died of natural causes.

“The question is, ‘What did you do to treat her?” said Les Sachanowicz, the attorney representing the family. “Did you give her the standard of health care that the community would have?”

Dotson-Stephens’ family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bexar County, Bexar County Pre-trial Services, and the University Health System.

“We’re convinced that their mom was ignored to death, and what I mean by that is there is a culture of deliberate indifference for her and other inmates in the pre-trial system and at the Bexar County Jail,” Sachanowicz said.

Brigette Lott, Dotson-Stephens daughter, said her mother suffered from a long history of mental illness including severe mood disorder and schizophrenia. She argued that her mother could have been brought to a mental health institution rather than the jail after the arrest.

“It was absolutely normal that my mom would just leave and we might not hear from her for a long time,” Lott told San Antonio Express-News. “That was normal for us. We were under the assumption that it was a regular cycle. She’ll get in trouble, then she’ll get better, then we’ll start the cycle all over again.”

Meanwhile, Bexar County officials claim that they weren’t informed of the mental health issues of Dotson-Stephens and said she was given proper care during her imprisonment.

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