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Audrii Cunningham Murder: Lawyer Says Convicting Accused Killer Could Be Tricky -- Here’s Why

Audrii Cunningham Murder: Lawyer Says Convincing Her Accused Killer Could Be Tricky -- Here’s Why

There may be a bump in the road in bringing Audrii Cunningham’s accused killer to justice…

Law enforcement may have a primary suspect in custody in the case of the murdered 11-year-old Texas girl, but a California lawyer thinks actually convicting him could be tricky. Audrii went missing earlier this month after not showing up at her bus stop or to school. Tragically, she was found dead at the bottom of a river tied to a rock — with a rope that resembled one identified in the car of her father’s neighbor Don Steven McDougal during a traffic stop days prior.

Don Steven McDougal Charged With Murder
(c) Polk County Sheriff’s Office

This guy is a real piece of work… He’s got a swastika tattoo and a criminal history, including a 2008 charge for enticing a minor. And for some reason, he was friends with Audrii’s dad and even lived on the Cunningham property in a trailer. And for some reason he was sometimes allowed to look after the child, like bringing her to her school bus stop… Yeah, we know.

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According to police, he picked her up in his vehicle on her walk to the bus stop the morning she went missing — seems like pretty good evidence to us! But attorney Eric Anderson of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae thinks it could be difficult to get the guy based on that evidence — given the context that he’s looked after her in the past. He told Newsweek on Thursday:

“If the spotting of the car is the only reason the police are arresting him, it’s pretty weak evidence from the given history. If they interviewed him and he provided more information, that would make sense for an arrest. We need to find out if a search warrant was issued and new evidence was found.”

Don did, apparently, tell cops he visited Trinity River after Audrii went missing, which is where her body was found. And according to a criminal complaint, police used cell phone data and video footage to link him to three “locations of interest” the day she vanished — which he allegedly lied about.

Eric did make some good points, but at the end of the day it’s Texas… Put Don — looking like that — in a room with a local jury, show them pics of this poor little girl? We’re no big city lawyers, but we’d be shocked if there wasn’t a conviction coming.

We do hope for the entire Cunningham family’s sake, clearer and more concrete answers are uncovered though. It would be nice if they didn’t have a reasonable doubt either.

What do YOU think will happen in court? Let us know down in the comments.

[Images via Polk County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook]

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Feb 22, 2024 15:35pm PDT