Andre LeTeve

My readers have finally lucked out!  I am known to for writing about complicated cases that I can turn into book length with all of the evidence and questions left.  This one is fairly cut and dry.  Sure, there are a few questions left but nothing major, as most of it appears to have simply been defense tactics in my opinion.

In October of 2009 in Scottsdale Arizona Laurie LeTeve filed for divorce from her husband, Andre.  She had recently found out that he had been unfaithful to her by having sex with over 20 prostitutes.  Yeah ladies... that would do it.  She was seeking shared custody of their two children, Alec (5) and Asher (1). Andre was served in the early part of November. She moved out of the home, although I am uncertain if this was before or after she filed for divorce, and was living at another location in Scottsdale.  Sometime in the month of November Andre filed for an emergency hearing asking for custody of the children and stated that Laurie had intentions of moving to Florida and taking the children. I never found if the courts ruled on this or if in fact his claim was true. 

On the morning of March 31, 2010 at about 8:00 in the morning Andre made a 911 call.  Reports say that he stated that he had killed his son, more than likely he told the dispatcher that he had killed both of his sons but they did not understand him completely.  When officers and the SWAT team arrived they found that Andre had shot both of his sons, killing them and had also shot himself. Alec was found on the couch with a pillow over his head, there was a gunshot in the pillow.  Asher was found in his room, in his crib.  Asher had blankets on his head and like the pillow on Alec it appears the blankets were used to muffle the sound of the gun.  Andre had then turned his .38 caliber gun on himself and shot himself in the chin.  There was least one (as many as three) suicide notes left in the house addressed to Laurie.

When I heard this story and heard that Andre had shot himself supposedly to commit suicide and then called 911 I was immediately perplexed.  Although, shooting yourself in the face, could result in suicide, shooting yourself in the chin, in my opinion, and obviously it was shown, was not a guarantee.  Then since he did not immediately die, he did not shoot himself again, or wait for himself to bleed out, instead he called 911 for help.  He knew there was no help to be had for his children so I believe his call was to save himself, leaving me to think that the suicide attempt was not necessarily a valid one.  

He was obviously taken to the hospital.  The bullet had gone through his nose and he lost the tip of his tongue.  Upon his release he was immediately arrested.  He told officers that he murdered the children because Laurie was planning to move them to Florida.  Again, I found no confirmation that Laurie was planning to move.  They did find that she was dating someone local at the time of the murders and by the time of his trial in 2012 she was remarried.  

Prosecutors claimed at the trial that the suicide note was typed up six days before the murders, it was then modified and printed three days before.  Some reports state that Andre made the boys sign the note also. They use this for their claims for premeditation and charged him with first degree murder.  They sought the death penalty.  The defense theorized that Andre was depressed over the demise of his marriage and potential financial ruin and had just snapped when he committed the murder. The jury believed that it was premeditated and convicted him for the first degree murders of his children.  

Then came the sentencing trial.  Andre's mother pleaded for his life stating "I believe we would not be sitting here today if it were not for the drugs he was so callously and carelessly given."  She was referring to the fact that he had received and took anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. She said he was overly depressed about the divorce.  The defense added to this by saying that he had taken large numbers of sleeping and headache pills along with the prescribed medications over the recent days leading to the murders.  They obviously did not claim that they incapacitated him as far as movement but were attempting to say he was mentally ill and these medications exasperated the issues. We have seen over the years a few cases in which anti-depressants have been used as a defense for mood changes and murder.  It seems the defense really could not counter the issue surrounding the suicide letter and when it was produced.  To boost their point that Andre should received the death penalty, prosecutors stated that while he had been in jail Andre had made numerous complaints about the food (his mother also testified she sent him extra money because of the "vile" food in prison), asked for speech therapy and showed concern asking about his cat, but had shown no remorse or sorrow over the loss of his children.

The jury sentenced him to death.

It takes a special kind of psychopath the kill their own children.  It is fairly apparent that Mothers and Fathers who kill their children do so for different reasons.  Mothers, like Susan Smith,Diane Downs, and Marybeth Tinning, tend to kill their children more often because of a man in their life or for attention.  Others, like Andrea Yates, do so from mental illness, truly believing that by killing their children they are doing what is best for them.  A large majority of fathers, such as John Battaglia and the recent case of Timothy Ray Jones, tend to kill their children out of revenge and retaliation to the mothers.  Andre's case seems to be just one of those cases.  There is no mystery here.  He had finally come to terms that Laurie was not coming back to him and he was going to get even with her for ruining their family.  He was going to make her pay for her decision.  

Comments

  1. I knew Andre pretty well before talk of the divorce began. Andre worked at a very high end jewelry store when I first met him. My wife and I always enjoyed our time in the shop with him. He'd make it a point to "bejewel" her while in the store. What woman doesn't like wearing millions in jewelry, even if only a few minutes. He later went on to work in real estate, after which time we lost touch. What the story doesn't mention is the period of time when Laurie was diagnosed with cancer. This period was extremely difficult for Andre. He was so completely in love with her, and spent a lot of time with major uncertainty as to whether she would survive. She did. To complete the "miracle", she became pregnant. Andre went through a period of time where he thought he was going to lose his wife, and not have a family with her. I believe it was during this time that he was prescribed the medications that his mother referenced.

    Seeing the photos of Andre online is always shocking to me. It's amazing to contemplate how the man that I knew could become the killer in those photos.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Matthew Heikkila

The Quinn Hanna Gray Kidnapping

Patricia Rorrer