Man accused of beating girlfriend to death

Ryan Stanush (Photo courtesy BCSO)

SAN ANTONIO – A man arrested for beating his girlfriend will soon see the charge upgraded to murder after his victim died from the injuries.

Ryan Stanush, 28, remains behind bars. He’s accused of beating his girlfriend so badly, she ended up in the hospital without a pulse and bleeding internally.

"Mr. Stanush stated that the injuries occurred while they were having consensual rough sex,” says Lt. Jeff Shook from Converse Police Department.

Police and doctors didn’t buy the excuse. Stanush later admitted to hitting and choking the victim, according to his arrest affidavit.

"Tragically, Saturday around 9:49 p.m., she was removed from life support,” Lt. Shook says.

She’s the latest victim in a disturbing trend.

"We do see a lot of domestic violence during the holidays,” Lt. Shook says.

Locally, the past few years we’ve seen deaths from domestic violence on a steady rise.

Nationwide, the National Domestic Violence Hotline reports calls are up 40% this year. Extra counselors are manning the phones this holiday season, expecting a surge in calls.

"There's been a lot of consumption of alcohol and drugs during the time that families spend together. And of course, alcohol and drugs do not cause the abuse, but it definitely heightens it,” says Wilmarie Santos, a bilingual advocate for the hotline.

Meantime, Converse Police have scheduled a meeting with the Bexar County District Attorney’s office to upgrade Stanush’s charge to murder or even capital murder.

Police urge anyone suffering in silence to seek help.

"Go to friends. Go to family. Go to local law enforcement. Don't tolerate this behavior,” Lt. Shook says. “Unfortunately, consistently, it seems to always get worse."

You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime, day or night, at 1-800-799-7233.

By EMILY BAUCUM

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