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February 26, 2014

Garner's testimony's quotes paints better picture of Maisano murder

— Katie Garner, former fiance of Steven Thompson, who stands accused of shooting Sara Maisano of Norman, recounted the events of her assault and Maisano's murder at the preliminary hearing.

Garner's testimony was enough for Judge Timothy Brauer to determine there was probable cause in the preliminary hearing in the Maisano murder case.

Garner said she got off work early from Norman Regional Hospital on June 26 where she and Maisano worked and went to the Sooner Mall before going swimming at an apartment in Norman.

Garner said she had had an argument with Thompson prior to that night about her staying out late.

"[Maisano] was going to stay the night [at Garner and Thomson's house in Amber]," she said. "We were scheduled to work at the same place."

When Garner and Maisano pulled up to the house, Thompson came outside and began banging on the door asking for a bottle of alcohol he had asked Garner to pick up before coming home, Garner said.

Thompson then went back in the house and returned with a shotgun, which Garner said wasn't too out of the ordinary for Thompson, who shot recreationally.

"He was talking, but I couldn't make out what he was saying," she said. "We shot guns a lot, so I wasn't scared."

Garner said she told Thompson to go back inside and she and Maisano followed him.

"I could tell she was startled," Garner said. "[Maisano was] questioning why he was acting the way he was."

Garner said she and Maisano went to the spare bedroom where Garner consoled Maisano before Thompson called her into their room because he was angry at her for coming back so late.

Thompson pushed Garner and she said her next memory was of Maisano saying, "What kind of man are you to put your hands on a woman."

Thompson hit Maisano in the face, according to Garner.

Garner said she and Maisano tried to crawl to the spare bedroom, but she lost consciousness en route.

Garner said she woke up in the spare bedroom in a pool of blood, saw Maisano's leg hanging off the side of the bed and crawled out of the room.

Thompson, who was sitting on the couch, looked up and said, "How do you feel about me killing your homegirl?" in a flat tone, according to Garner.

When police came, she directed them to the spare bedroom and asked if Maisano was dead, to which an officer replied that she was, Garner said.

Defense Attorney Mitch Solomon questioned Garner about her and Thompson's alleged abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Garner admitted to their use of the pain medication Lortab and that she had a problem with alcohol. She said she picked up alcohol after work sometimes.

The state called Thompson's father to testify after a lunch recess.

Thompson's father said he didn't notice anything weird when he went to mow his son's yard the morning of June 27, but did receive a call from him later, in which Thompson said, "something went wrong."

Thompson's cousin, James Luke, was the state's next witness. He said he got a call from Thompson at work, in which he admitted that he "killed Katie's girlfriend with a shotgun."

"He said he was glad to get ahold of me [and that] he loved me and to tell everyone else that he loved them because his life was over," Luke said.

Thompson told Luke he found out Garner had been cheating on him, Luke testified.

Thompson stands accused of first-degree murder and he could face the death penalty. His arraignment is at 1:30 p.m. March 13.

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