Fort Worth

Mark Andrews murder trial

Tarrant County prosecutor Kevin Boneberg questions detective Mike Winterrowd during Tuesday's murder trial of Mark Phelps Andrews.
Tarrant County prosecutor Kevin Boneberg questions detective Mike Winterrowd during Tuesday's murder trial of Mark Phelps Andrews. Special to the Star-Telegram

On the morning of Jan. 8, 2016, Amy Skaggs said Andrews woke her and her husband around 4:30 a.m. Before that, she testified, she never heard any ruckus inside the house or the household’s multiple rambunctious dogs even bark.

Confused by what was going on, Amy Skaggs said she followed Andrews into the master bedroom.

“He’s standing beside her by her face screaming her name,” Amy Skaggs testified.

Amy Skaggs said Doris' eyes were open but she was not moving. She had blood pooling on her chest, according to her friend's testimony.

Amy Skaggs said she ran to check on the Andrewses’ daughter, who rolled over in bed and looked at her. She said she had walked back into the living room when Andrews emerged from the master bedroom with a gun.

“He points it right at my face. I froze. I’m like, Mark, what are you doing?” Amy Skaggs recalled.

Asked what he looked like when pointing the gun at her, Amy Skaggs replied, “Deranged. I was scared.”

She said Andrews then proceeded to search the house as if looking for the killer, though he never checked his daughter’s bedroom. She said she’d be the one to tell Andrews that she’d check on his daughter and that she was OK.

Don Skaggs testified that he was on the phone with 911 when a distraught and wild-looking Andrews also pointed the gun at him.

When he thinks back to that moment, he testified, he believed the "Lord was protecting me that day."

"Do you think the only reason you weren't shot is because you were on the phone with 911?" Clayton asked.

"I think that's the only reason. That's the feeling I got," Don Skaggs replied.

Amy Skaggs said when she returned to the master bedroom, she found Andrews on top of his wife, doing chest compressions. On a throw rug next to the bed, Amy Skaggs said she noticed a hammer.

“I screamed there’s a hammer on the floor. He got this really shocked look on his face,” she said, demonstrating with wide eyes and and open mouth.

Don Skaggs testified that he recognized the hammer as one that he and Andrews had just recently used to hammer boards while fixing a gap between a shed and gate.

Amy Skaggs testified that Andrews got a similar “dramatic” look when she later pointed out that the door to the couple’s antique safe in the living room was open.

Amy Skaggs testified that while the safe was said to have contained a large amount of money — Andrews told police that $135,000 was missing from it — she never actually saw Andrews put in or take any money out of it. To her knowledge, she said, he was the only one with the combination.

Amy Skaggs testified that while Andrews wailed and screamed inside the house that morning, she never saw any tears.

Though an Azle detective later testified that the Skaggses were eliminated as suspects in the case, Cleveland indicated during cross-examination that the couple and others were not held to the same scrutiny by police as Andrews.

The trial continues this week in Criminal District Court No. 1.