Who is Don Steven McDougal, suspect in Texas girl Audrii Cunningham's death? - Hindustan Times
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Who is Don Steven McDougal? Suspect in Texas girl Audrii Cunningham's death has a lengthy rap sheet

BySumanti Sen
Feb 21, 2024 10:32 AM IST

Among several other charges, Don Steven McDougal received a two-year sentence for Enticing a Child out of Brazoria County in 2007

Texas girl Audrii Cunningham, 11, who went missing after stepping out for school, was found dead Tuesday afternoon, February 20. Her body was found in the Trinity River near the US Highway 59 bridge in Livingston, Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons confirmed, according to Fox News.

This undated photo released by the Polk County Jail shows Don Steven McDougal of Livingston, Texas (Polk County Jail via AP)(AP)
This undated photo released by the Polk County Jail shows Don Steven McDougal of Livingston, Texas (Polk County Jail via AP)(AP)

Polk County District Attorney Shelly Sittom has confirmed that her office is now preparing arrest warrants for 42-year-old Don Steven McDougal. He had been identified as a person of interest after the child went missing. McDougal could be facing capital murder charges.

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Who is Don Steven McDougal?

McDougal was Cunningham’s father’s friend. He lived in a trailer behind the house, and would occasionally take Cunningham to school. Authorities said he admitted that he left home with Cunningham the morning she vanished.

McDougal has a lengthy rap sheet, and his crimes date back to 2001. He was charged with possession of marijuana in 2011, after being arrested by Cleveland Police Department. He was sentenced to five years for assault of a public servant back in 2002.

McDougal was arrested for possession of a dangerous drug in 2003, and sentenced to four months. The same year, he was handed a three-year sentence for assault of a public servant out of Liberty County. He was charged with possession of marijuana in 2003.

In September 2005, McDougal was arrested with evading arrest or detention in Harris County. The following year, he was arrested and made to serve an eight-month sentence for theft of more than $1,500 but less than $20,000 out of Harris County. He was handed a 180-day sentence for possession of meth just seven days later.

McDougal received a two-year sentence for Enticing a Child out of Brazoria County in 2007. In 2009, he received a 180-day sentence for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle out of Harris County.

McDougal was arrested and later sentenced to four years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon out of Harris County in 2010. In 2020, he was handed a two-year sentence for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle out of Liberty County. He was released in 2022.

His rap sheet includes more charges including theft of property, reckless driving, assault causing bodily injury, harassment, and resisting arrest search or transportation.

Last week, McDougal was arrested on unrelated charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was reportedly given “several opportunities to cooperate" with their investigation into Cunningham’s disappearance. "He was probably taking her to…the bus stop, and we do feel that he was the last person to see Audrii," Lyons said, adding that the public must not "jump to conclusions.”

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