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Domestic Violence Homicide punished by Life In Prison and $10,000 Fine 

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On Monday, April 8, 2024, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors Adam McLane and Donna Hansen selected a jury in the 221st District Court in The State of Texas vs. Mark Anthony Briseno for the 2019 shooting death of his girlfriend, Daria Khoussinov.

Following jury selection, McLane and Hansen began calling witnesses from the Woodforest neighborhood who heard gunshots and saw Briseno just after the offense. The first responding Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy testified that he rushed into the home to try to save Daria’s life. The lead Crime Scene Investigator testified that he collected an AK-47 firearm that Briseno took to a neighbor’s house and located ten spent shell casings from inside the bedroom where Daria’s body was found. Dr. Kathryn Pinneri, Director of the Montgomery County Forensic Services Center, testified that at autopsy, she documented eight distinct gunshot wounds that she found to be consistent with an AK-47 assault rifle. Despite evidence presented by friends and family of Briseno stating that he was a person of non-violent character, the jury found Briseno guilty of murder after deliberating for less than two hours. 

Mark Anthony Briseno
Mark Anthony Briseno; Photo provided courtesy of Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office

On Friday, April 12, 2024, prosecutors began their punishment case, calling first a digital forensics expert to admit cell phone evidence, followed by a domestic violence expert who helped to educate the jury on types and patterns of violence in intimate partner relationships. The expert provided the jury with testimony showing that Briseno had exhibited patterns of abuse within his two most recent dating relationships. Defense Attorney Andrea Kolski presented evidence that Briseno suffered from mental health issues and further presented testimony that Briseno may have been over the legal blood alcohol driving limit of .08 on the night of the offense. 

ADA’s McLane and Hansen then presented testimony from the mother of Daria, who helped the jury understand what type of person Daria was and what her loss meant to the family. The jury also heard from the father of Daria’s child, who testified about the impact this crime has had and will continue to have on his daughter. During the punishment phase, the jury considered whether Briseno acted under the influence of Sudden Passion. After finding that he did not act in sudden passion, which would have reduced the punishment range to 2-20 years in prison, they sentenced him to the maximum sentence of life and a $10,000 fine. Briseno will first be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence. 

Chief Prosecutor Adam McLane stated, “We are thankful to the jury for seeing Briseno for who he truly is, an abuser who took one of the best of us far too soon. Briseno can now spend the rest of his life contemplating what he’s done.” 

District Attorney Brett Ligon said, While everyone else was celebrating New Year’s Eve this young lady was being terrorized and slaughtered by someone who she thought loved her and her child. Chief Prosecutor Adam McLane made the scene that night and has carried this case with him everyday until him and Division Chief Donna Hansen could turn it over to our community to render a verdict. And after all the evidence was presented, they did it loudly. And clearly. Max pen time. Max fine. Our community is safer because of their verdict.”