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July 5, 2013

Murder charge Monday for Amber suspect

— The Amber man accused of killing a Norman woman last week will be formally charged with murder in the first degree on Monday.

Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks said his office spent the week gathering information on the case.

"We feel very comfortable that we have a strong case against him," Hicks said.

The suspect, Steven Thompson, allegedly assaulted and shot Sara Maisano at close range with a shotgun late on June 26.

Hicks said the investigation will continue leading up to Thompson's eventual arraignment, which will determine whether he will seek the death penalty.

"That's something we are going to have to decide whether want to proceed with," Hicks said. "It will be several weeks down the road before we get to his arraignment ."

Hicks said he does not expect a preliminary hearing to be held in this case for at least another seven months.

Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir would not speculate on exact motives of the shooting that occurred in Amber a week-and-a-half ago, but said he believed the crime stemmed from a domestic violence situation.

Weir said Thompson walked into his house and for some reason became enraged at the sight of his fiance,' Katie Garner and Maisano together.

"According to Garner, he started beating both her and the victim with his hands and the butt of a shotgun," Weir said.

Garner passed out after sustaining multiple injuries. She awoke a few hours later to find Maisano on her bed, who she thought was sleeping, Weir said.

"She was walking out when Thompson walked into the room, pushed her back and told her (Garner) that he had killed Maisano," Weir said.

The mortal injury sustained by Maisano was indicative of a close ranged shotgun blast to the head, said Weir.

Hicks said he anticipates he will try the case.

Maisano is the daughter of Norman Deputy Police Chief Jim Maisano.

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