On the fourth day of testimony in the trial of Steven McDowell, who is charged with strangling his wife Crystal, a highly emotional Steven took the stand for about six hours and repeatedly pleaded guilty.
“I do plead guilty, there’s no denying what I did,” Steven McDowell said Monday.
But while he verbalized his guilt, he refused to go through the legal paperwork required to officially plead guilty to the charge of murdering his ex-wife because he claims he did not strangler her as the indictment states.
“I wanted to plead guilty,” Steven McDowell said. “If it were the first indictment I would have. It said I choked her and I didn’t choke her.”
The first indictment of Steven McDowell said he initially caused the death of Crystal McDowell. But the Chambers County District Attorney’s Office used an indictment that says Steven McDowell did initially cause the death of Crystal McDowell by strangulation since that was what he confessed to the Texas Rangers.
Steven McDowell said strangling Crystal McDowell were the words of the Texas Rangers and not his.
Steve McDowell said he only answered the Texas Rangers by saying “yes.”
“I wasn’t listening, and I was emotionally distraught,” Steven McDowell said.
Steven McDowell, instead, claimed he killed her on accident, hugging her to death.
“I just wanted to hold her; I just wanted to start over. I was tired of arguing and I was tired of fighting,” Steven McDowell said when asked why he hugged her and suffocated her on accident, as he claimed Monday.
Steven McDowell also said when Crystal McDowell came home the morning of her death, she was in good mood, and he was happy to see her.
Steven McDowell said they even had sex that morning but started arguing because he was supposed to get a document notarized that would allow Crystal McDowell to take the kids on a cruise without him. But he said he never got the document notarized and the cruise was coming up soon.
“She said she didn’t love me anymore and hadn’t loved me in a long time,” Steven McDowell said. “She had never said that before. I told her to stop, and I begged her to quit being mean to me. I grabbed her; I put my arms around her.”
Steven McDowell said they were standing up when they were hugging and said he became frustrated and upset. Steven McDowell said her body then became limp and she fell. He claims that he fell with her onto the bed and that’s when he realized she was dead.
Steven McDowell also contradicted his now 7-year-old daughter’s testimony and said there was no way she could have witnessed the murder because he had locked both doors to the bedroom because he was taking a shower.
Steven McDowell testified that he was taking a shower when Crystal McDowell knocked on the door, so he let her in and re-locked the door.
When Chambers County District Attorney Cheryl Lieck showed him pictures of Crystal McDowell’s decomposed body where authorities found it, he refused to look because “he didn’t want to remember her that way.”
Lieck even put the photos of the body on the big screen in the courtroom and tried to have him look at it and describe it, but Steven McDowell buried his head in his hands and cried.
“Steve, we are all here (because of) you, and you don’t want to look at the pictures of what you’ve done,” Lieck asked him.
Steven McDowell will resume his testimony today in the trial being presided over by Chambers County District Judge Chap B. Cain III in the Galveston County Courthouse. Closing arguments are also expected.