San Antonio Express-News

Man gets 40 years for killing former girlfriend’s new beau

- By Elizabeth Zavala STAFF WRITER

A man who killed his ex-girlfriend’s new beau — a teacher and basketball coach — has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Mathew Thomas Wiessing, 27, pleaded no contest to a murder charge Wednesday in the fatal shooting of Michael Cyprian Echaniz, 23, as part of an agreement reached between defense attorney Joseph Darryl Macom and Bexar County prosecutor­s Kathryn Reed and Casey Sandoval.

State District Judge Jennifer Peña found Wiessing guilty following a presentenc­e investigat­ion and handed him a 40-year term. “Mathew Wiessing’s actions demonstrat­e a disregard for human life,” Bexar County District Attorney Joe D. Gonzales said in a statement released late Wednesday. “We are unwavering in our commitment to securing justice for the victims of violent crimes and their families.”

Echaniz, an elementary school teacher who taught at Great Hearts Forest Heights, was found dead next to his car just before 7 a.m. on March 10, 2022, outside his apartment at 4801 Gus Eckert Road, not far from the school.

San Antonio police said he had been shot on the right and left sides of his head, and a single gunshot wound was in his upper back, an arrest warrant supporting Wiessing’s arrest stated.

Defensive wounds also were found on Echnaiz’s right hand. Authoritie­s believe he was trying to get inside his car when he was shot because his briefcase was in the passenger side of the vehicle, and his breakfast was on the ground next to the car, the affidavit stated.

Authoritie­s said the motive appeared to have been jealousy over a recent breakup between Echaniz’s girlfriend and Wiessing.

“The defendant was unable to accept the end of his relationsh­ip, repeatedly expressed his desire for reconcilia­tion, and voiced sinister aspiration­s regarding Echaniz’s well-being,” the DA’S office statement said.

A witness expressed to police that he suspected Wiessing because they noticed his absence during the time of the fatal shooting, and a dark gray hoodie sweatshirt was discovered that matched the descriptio­n of the shooter.

SAPD also discovered surveillan­ce footage that placed Wiessing’s vehicle at the scene of the crime, along with incriminat­ing searches on his cellphone.

Wiessing will have to serve at least half of his sentence before he would become eligible for parole.

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