Newly-released bar surveillance video reveals possible motive for 2018 murder of Buda man

Hays

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Prosecutors are shedding light on a possible motive for a 2018 murder.

Bar surveillance video shows Brandon Fontenette and Mark Stevens’ wife, Jeanette, getting cozy. 

Brandon Fontenette, 36, died in 2018 after being shot several times with a BB gun and then stabbed. Mark James Stevens, 38 at the time, faces a first-degree murder charge in Hays County for his death.

According to court testimony, Fontenette was found dead on the bathroom floor inside Stevens’ home in Buda. New testimony also revealed Fontenette was stabbed in his back through two of his ribs and lung.

Day two of Stevens’ trial revealed it all started at a local bar, Railhouse, in Buda.

Surveillance video made public in court showed Fontenette and his friend hanging out with Stevens and his wife, Jeanette.

Later, you see Fontenette and Jeanette flirting in a sense, while Stevens sits off to the side. 

The video shows they all left the bar together, first Jeanette and Fontenette, with Stevens following behind. 

They all talked outside of the bar for a while, then drove out of the parking lot at the same time, appearing to be following each other.

Fontenette’s vehicle was spotted at the Stevens home later, according to testimony.

KXAN also learned on the night in question, Stevens’ son, Andrew, texted his friend who lives down the street around 3 a.m. asking if he could go to the friend’s house. 

Andrew’s friend testified on Thursday that Stevens would have PTSD episodes, making Andrew want to leave home.

“I was always there, whenever he needed it,” Andrew’s friend said.

His friend also testified Stevens had PTSD episodes at least twice before.

“Sometimes picking up objects and throwing them,” Andrew’s friend said, describing the episodes.

The friend also testified when they walked back to the Stevens home around 4 a.m., Andrew went inside, peeked around a corner, then came back out saying he wanted to leave again. 

Testimony revealed the two boys went back to the friend’s house and stayed there until 7 or 8 the next morning. When they walked back over to the home, the friend said that’s when they saw cop cars.

It’s not clear how many more witnesses there are, but the Hays County district attorney said the trial will lead into next week.

On Wednesday, Stevens pleaded not guilty to murder and tampering with evidence charges. The trial was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stevens’ wife, Jeanette, is facing the same charges as Stevens, but she’s been out on a $50,000 bond for about two years, according to the Hays County district attorney. Her trial is scheduled to begin at the end of July.

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