Wife of hammer-murder defendant showed signs of abuse before death, witness says

A woman whose husband allegedly beat her to death with a hammer had revealed past physical abuse before she died in 2016, a witness testified Tuesday.

Melissa Harder said that during a visit to Doris Andrews years ago, she noticed that Andrews had covered up a bruise above her eye with makeup and had two red marks on her ribs, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Harder, a church friend, said that neither she nor Andrews alerted police because they were both afraid of Mark Andrews, the paper reported.

“He once said he was able to make people disappear,” Harder said.

"He once said he was able to make people disappear.”

- Melissa Harder, witness for the prosecution in Mark Andrews' murder trial

Doris Andrews died at her home in Azle, Texas, on Jan. 8, 2016.

Harder's tesimony came as prosecutors sought to call Mark Andrews' credibility into question. He reportedly told people he had a military background, which prosecutors said was a lie that he told to intimidate and exert power over others.

Prosecutors asserted the argument that Andrews, a high-stakes gambler, was in financial trouble at the time of his wife’s death and could have killed her to collect her two life insurance policies worth $115,000 and $258,000 at the time of her death.

The trial will continue Wednesday.

Click here for more from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.