Fort Worth

Azle man denied fatally bludgeoning his wife, police report

The rental home in the 600 block of Dunaway Lane where Doris Andrews was slain.
The rental home in the 600 block of Dunaway Lane where Doris Andrews was slain. Star-Telegram

A man accused of bludgeoning his wife to death with a hammer in their Azle home Friday told investigators that he found her that way and that money from their safe was missing, according to court documents.

Mark Phelps Andrews, 45, was in the Azle Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $500,000.

He is accused of killing his wife, Doris Jean Andrews, 43, a fourth-year teacher at Basswood Elementary in the Keller school district. It was Azle’s first slaying since December 2014.

Andrews denied killing his wife in interviews with investigators. But an arrest warrant affidavit accuses Andrews of giving inconsistent statements to a detective that did not match evidence at the scene. It also states there was a lack of forced entry into the safe.

While much of the evidence noted in the affidavit is circumstantial, Azle Lt. D.D. West said, investigators have uncovered additional evidence since the affidavit was written that links Andrews to the crime. He declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.

“It’s an active investigation,” West said. “This one is going to take us some time.”

Husband’s account

According to the affidavit, Mark Andrews told police he woke up at 2 a.m. Friday and left about 15 minutes later with plans to drive to the WinStar Casino in Oklahoma.

He said he was north of Boyd when he realized he had forgotten his money and returned home to get it.

Once back at the couple’s rental home in the 600 block of Dunaway Lane, the arrest warrant affidavit states, Andrews described the following:

He left his vehicle running and entered the home through a back sunroom door. He then made some coffee and petted his dogs before hearing his wife’s alarm go off and entering the master bedroom to shut it off.

He said he returned to the kitchen to drink some coffee before going into the master bathroom. He said he was walking out of the bathroom when he noticed his wife was injured.

He said he tried to give her CPR and then call 911 on her phone, but it was not working. He said he then woke up the live-in nanny and her husband and told them to call an ambulance.

Mark Andrews said he had returned to the bedroom to begin CPR again when the nanny turned on the lights, illuminating his wife’s injuries.

“He advised me that there was blood on his hands so he went to go wash them off and he stated that he must of ‘hugged’ her because he had blood on his face and glasses,” Detective Richard Lukowky wrote in the affidavit.

He told police it was the nanny who noticed the safe was open with approximately $135,000 missing. He said only he and his wife knew the safe’s combination.

A bloody hammer with hair on it was found on the ground next to the bed where Doris Andrews lay.

Inconsistencies noted by police

The affidavit states that Mark Andrews changed his story when asked to recount what happened again, this time stating he had gone to the bathroom after turning off his wife’s alarm. He said upon leaving the bathroom, he spotted his wife’s injuries, straddled her and began CPR.

He said he bent down to speak to his wife in her ear, holding her by her face.

“I told him that he originally told me that he hugged her and if so, why did he not have any more blood on him?” Lukowky wrote. “Mark could not explain why he did not have more blood on him. He just told me that it was all over his hands and face; however, no other blood got on him except for a small stain on his chest.”

The affidavit describes the stain as an approximate “droplet.”

The affidavit states that the hammer used in the slaying belonged to Mark Andrews. According to the nanny’s husband, he and Mark Andrews used it the day before the slaying to repair a fence and that Mark Andrews then put it back in the shed.

The affidavit states the husband also had a cut on his arm, which he claimed came from being bitten by his dog.

It states that three dogs were inside the house, two of whom were free to roam, but that the nanny and her husband never heard them bark that night.

The affidavit also states that detectives believe, based on Mark Andrews’ statement, that he would have returned home about 3:15 a.m. The 911 call was not placed until 4:37 a.m., leaving an hour and 20 minutes unaccounted for, the affidavit states.

Lt. West said Mark and Doris Andrews had lived in the house, a rental, about five months. He said police had received no previous calls there for domestic violence.

“He drove a truck at one time,” West said. “I think his last job was working for an oil company, but he was currently unemployed.”

A previous accusation

Mark Andrews was charged in Tulsa in 2007 with domestic assault and battery, a misdemeanor, after a former wife accused him of assaulting her at their residence.

The woman told police the couple had been married about six months. She said Andrews attacked her after she told him she wanted him to move out, according to officer Leland Ashley, a Tulsa police spokesman.

The woman said Andrews slapped her, held her to the floor by her neck, slammed her head against the floor and a kitchen cabinet, and at one point pulled out a holstered handgun to intimidate her, Ashley said.

Attorneys for Andrews filed documents indicating he intended to claim self-defense in the case. But court records show the charge was dismissed in August 2008 after the ex-wife stopped cooperating.

Doris Andrews had three daughters, including a 9-year-old girl she and her husband adopted. The girl was asleep in the house when the slaying occurred, the affidavit states.

A GoFundMe account has been started by a family friend to help with funeral costs.

Deanna Boyd: 817-390-7655, @deannaboyd

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