|WICKED man.. Idiotic Daniel Politte|
"I don’t know what’s wrong with her, but she’s drowning in her own blood!" he cried.
Daniel Politte, 30, begged for an ambulance for his wife, Stephanie.
"I’m afraid she’s gonna die," he exclaimed, as Stephanie could be heard fighting for breath in the background.
It was a race against time as the paramedics sped to their home, blue lights flashing.
Stephanie, 29, was a much-loved teacher who worked with autistic children.
She and her husband Daniel lived in Missouri City, Texas, and she was a member of the local theatre, singing and acting in community productions.
Their social media pages were flooded with photos of the pair looking happy,
On 11 March 2014 at around 11.30pm, Daniel made the call for an ambulance.
"We are in the bedroom, in what looks like a murder scene," he said.
Daniel was given instructions on how to perform CPR and mouth-to-mouth. It sounded like he was doing everything he could to save his wife.
But during the 15-minute phone call, he made some odd comments.
He mentioned that the blood was gross, then flipped to saying how beautiful his wife was.
"You know, you’re so pretty," he said. "Very pretty. You’re a very pretty girl."
When paramedics arrived, they found Stephanie in the master bedroom, partially clothed.
They were stunned to discover a bullet wound in the back of her head.
A gun lay nearby with a spent shell casing. Why hadn’t Daniel mentioned that crucial detail?
There was blood everywhere, but not enough on Daniel to back up his claims that he’d tried to save Stephanie’s life.
Daniel was taken outside as paramedics tended to his wife, but it was too late.
Stephanie was declared dead at the scene.
Outside, Daniel was sat in a police car, unaware that there was a dash cam that records audio in the vehicle.
"I’m f****d," he was recorded saying. When he asked an officer if Stephanie was dead, he didn’t even seem distressed when they told him she was.
An autopsy revealed that Stephanie had a high level of alcohol in her system.
Investigators looked on Daniel’s phone and discovered a photograph of his wife taken at 11.04pm while she was asleep, with her left cheek on the pillow.
Daniel became the prime suspect.
When he was questioned, one minute he was crying and screaming, the next he was calm and making jokes.
At first, he said he couldn’t remember what happened, but when he made phone calls to loved ones he claimed he’d been trying to get the gun from Stephanie because she was going to harm herself, and it had gone off in the struggle.
Daniel was charged, but spent just two days behind bars before posting bail.
In October 2016, at the Fort Bend County court, Daniel pleaded not guilty to killing his wife.
His defence claimed that Stephanie struggled with depression and, on the night of her death, was three times the legal limit due to her drinking.
They also said that Stephanie had body image issues, which was wildly disputed by her loved ones.
The defence used Daniel’s argument that he was trying to protect Stephanie by taking the revolver from her. Daniel couldn’t remember all the details – just like a victim of a car accident has gaps in their memory.
"This was tragic. It is an accident, something nobody can bring back," they said.
But if Stephanie was holding the gun, how could it accidentally go off into the back of
her head? Experts said that just couldn’t happen.
Stephanie had died from a bullet that had travelled from back to front – from 12-15 inches away from her head.
The medical examiner said that when she was shot, her left cheek was pressed against something. Perhaps the pillow seen in the last picture of her?
Prosecutors had their own theory about what happened in the Politte bedroom.
"She was lying in her bed, maybe even asleep, face down on the pillow as she was shot in the back of the head," they said.
They reminded the jury that Daniel neglected to mention Stephanie had a gun-shot wound in his 911 call, despite knowing that was what had caused her fatal injury – this was probably because he didn’t want the the police to come with the paramedics.
Then came the killer blow. Prosecutors showed the court the photograph of
Stephanie taken 20 minutes before her death.
She was asleep in bed – the same position that the prosecution say she was in when she was shot.
Daniel’s inconsistent story didn’t go in his favour either.
When it came to a motive, by law they didn’t have to give one – but they suggested it could have been down to money issues causing tension between the couple,
triggered by Daniel not having a job.
They even suggested that Stephanie might have wanted Daniel to sell his beloved Mustang.
On the night of the shooting, Daniel was wearing a Mustang Shelby T-shirt.
The jury deliberated for just an hour and a half before finding Daniel guilty.
Stephanie’s father, Neil Kirkpatrick, said the family could finally move on.
"Nothing will ever bring Stephanie back, but knowing that the person that’s responsible for her death had been found guilty is a great relief," he said.
At the sentencing in November, the prosecution asked for a lengthy sentence.
"It’s worth a life," they said. "What does Stephanie Politte deserve? Somebody
to stand up for her and give justice to Dan Politte for what he did."
Stephanie’s father said his daughter didn’t deserve to die at the hands of her husband.
"He executed my daughter, he snuck up behind her with a revolver with one bullet in it, shot her in the back of a head and then lied about it and he tried to hide it."
In a twist, it was revealed that Daniel had a new girlfriend who he claimed to have met
while waiting for trial.
But the state had found messages on his phone exchanged on the night of the murder, as well as a folder of photos of her filed under an explicit name.
Daniel was given 85 years for the murder of his wife.
He must serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.
Two-and-a-half years after her death, Stephanie’s case was finally closed.
A young woman betrayed while she slept by the man she loved.