Dashcam audio sheds light on accused murderer's condition

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A trial is underway for a Missouri City man accused of killing his wife in 2014.

Chilling audio recordings played for a jury shed new light on the state of mind of Missouri City murder suspect Daniel Politte, who is accused of shooting his wife in the back of the head, likely as she slept.

"Oh, you [expletive] [expletive]," Politte is heard saying on dash camera footage after being placed in handcuffs in the back of a police car by himself. No one else was there with him and police say no female officers were even nearby.

In that recording, prosecutors say, you hear Dan Politte as he rips the paper evidence bags off his hands while handcuffed. The bags - meant to ensure any gunshot residue on his hands was preserved.

SEE ALSO: Court hears graphic 911 call during husband's murder trial

Stephanie Politte, 29, was found shot in the back of the head at the couple's Missouri City home on March 11, 2014. She was a well-known, much-loved teacher who worked with children with autism.

He asked one of the investigators if his wife was dead:

Lt. Paul Poulton, Missouri City Police: "She's dead. I ain't gonna lie to you. I'm not gonna sugar coat stuff for you."
Politte: "Are you serious?"
Poulton: "Yes, as a heart attack. I ain't gonna lie to you. I'm not here to lie to you."
Politte: "What happened?"
Poulton: "That I don't know. That's what we're trying to figure out."

From the witness stand, then-Lieutenant Poulton said he was surprised Politte seemed not to shed a tear when told of his wife's death, at least not initially. You could later hear what appeared to be Politte sobbing and screaming on that recording.

SEE ALSO: Missouri City man indicted in wife's murder

Politte's attorneys claim he cannot remember what happened that night. Attorney Katherine Scardino says extreme stress can cause memory lapses.

"People who can't recall car accidents -- it's very common to have memory gaps or memory loss, totally," she said. Scardino calls what happened in the Politte home that night "the perfect storm" which led to a tragic accident.

The defense claims Stephanie Politte was drunk and that the couple struggled over a gun she grabbed after they argued.

Following his arrest, Dan Politte called his mother from jail. He told her Stephanie had a gun and he was trying to keep her from hurting herself. "I started trying to get it away and I thought I did. I thought I helped her. I never even heard anything. I didn't hear anything," he said.

Prosecutors have not specified a motive for the murder.

If convicted, Dan Politte could be sentenced to life in prison.

Related Topics:
murderdomestic violencetrialdashboard camerasMissouri City
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