February 25, 2014

Accused's fiance gives chilling testimony at prelim., trial will occur

Defense looks to establish Thompson as drug, alcohol abuser

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


The Preliminary Hearing for Steven Thompson, the man accused of killing a woman in June of last year brought a mix of emotions and theatrics to the Grady County Courthouse this morning. 

After a five hour hearing Judge Timothy Brauer ruled the evidence presented by the prosecution substantiated probable cause. and Thompson will go to trial. 

Thompson is accused of killing Norman Deputy Police Chief Jim Maisano's daughter Sara with a shotgun in Amber, Okla. 

District Attorney Jason Hicks called Katie Garner, Thompson's former fiance, as the state's first witness. 

Garner said she and Thompson shared a home in Amber at the time of the incident. 

Garner said she was with Maisano when she was murdered and claims Thompson beat her severely with the butt of the shotgun resulting in several injuries, including a skull fracture. 

Garner gave a chilling recount of the events leading up to Maisano's death. 

She said Thompson was enraged and at one point had Maisano and her on their knees in the kitchen where he repeatedly hit her in the face with the gun. 

Garner said she passed out, but remembers waking up in the guest bedroom. She said she could see, was covered in blood and had trouble getting to her feet. She said she crawled her way out of the bedroom and noticed Maisano's legs dangling from the bed. She then made her way to the living room where she found Thompson sitting on the couch. 

She said he looked at her and said "how do you feel about me killing your homegirl." 

Garner said she was confused by the question, and Thompson's demeanor was emotionless.

Thompson got up and paced around the house, according to Garner as she passed out on the couch. She said she remembers police arriving at the scene and asking them if Maisano was dead. 

"They (the police) said yes," Garner said. 

Thompson's defense attorney Mitch Solomon cross examined Garner and pointed out she and Thompson's use of prescription drugs, including Lortab, . He asked Garner if she and Thompson abused Lortab, which led Hicks to object multiple times. 

Solomon also pointed to the frequency with which Thompson and Garner would consume alcohol. Eventually,Garner said she had a problem with alcohol. 

Solomon asked if Thompson's withdrawn and emotionless appearance on the couch was normal for him and Garner replied no. 

Solomon also addressed alleged text messages between Garner and Thompson, where Thompson expressed he did not want Maisano brought to their house and he was concerned that her relationship with Garner would affect their own. That line of questioning was dropped after Hicks objected.

Following a lunch recess the prosecution called Thompson's father and cousin the stand. 

Thompson's cousin, James Luke, said Thompson called him the morning of June 27 claiming he had "killed Katie's girlfriend with a shotgun." 

"He said he was glad to get ahold of me because he loved me and he said I wouldn't be seeing him again because his life was over," Luke said. 

Thompson was not typically emotional, according to Luke, but on the phone call he was described as hysterical. 

"He said Katie had been cheating on him (Thompson) and he figured it out," Luke said. 

Thompson is accused of murder in the first degree and could face the death penalty. His formal arraignment is scheduled for March 13 at 1:30 p.m.