The Norman Transcript

March 14, 2014

Death penalty sought in Grady County slaying

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

CHICKASHA, Okla. — Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks will seek the death penalty in the death of Sara Maisano according to a bill of particulars filed Thursday, court records indicate.

“I think after I reviewed everything I had, one of the biggest factors in this was the way Sara was murdered and the fact that he almost took two lives instead of one. I think it’s an appropriate case to seek the death penalty,” Hicks said. “Obviously, something else that factored into it when visiting with Katie Garner is the fact that there had been a history of domestic violence in their relationship.”

In accordance with Oklahoma requirements in potential death penalty cases, the bill alleges Maisano’s murder was “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

 Steven Ray Thompson, 29, is charged with murder in the first degree in the death of Maisano on June 26 or 27, 2013.

The document filed Thursday lists the specifics of the beating sustained by Maisano on the day of her death. It further alleges that Thompson forced Maisano to watch as he beat his fiancé Katie Garner with the butt of a shotgun.

According to the narrative of the bill of particulars, Maisano is believed to have tried to escape. Thompson is alleged to have pointed a shotgun at her head and fired.

Maisano was said to be “gripping a can of liquid, protective spray behind her back and in her hand at the time of her death.”

Garner was rendered unconscious by the beating and she almost lost her life as well.

According to the bill of particulars, Thompson represents a continued risk to society based on “multiple occasions” that he is alleged to have “assaulted and battered Katie Garner.”

Thompson’s formal arraignment was Thursday, and the defendant stood mute. The court is required to enter a plea of not guilty in that instance. Another court appearance in December will allow the defendant to confirm that he wants to go to trial. The defense will have a chance to challenge items within the bill of particulars.

Thompson is being represented by Mitch Solomon through the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System.