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Mary Katherine Higdon, Georgia woman who shot and killed boyfriend, says she didn’t know her gun had a bullet in the chamber

Mary Katherine Higdon of Griffin, Georgia, was arrested for the murder of her are living-in boyfriend, Steven Freeman. Was the taking pictures an accident, or does the forensic evidence recommend that she methodically prepared to destroy him? CBS News correspondent David Begnaud investigates for “48 Hours” in “The Case Towards Mary Katherine Higdon,” airing Saturday, July 24 at 9/8c on CBS.

Late on the night of August 1, 2018, the Griffin Law enforcement Department responded to a frantic 911 simply call from 24-calendar year-old Mary Katherine Higdon. She told the dispatch operator that she experienced just shot her boyfriend, by incident. Through the get in touch with, she said that she didn’t know the gun experienced a bullet in its chamber.

When initial responders arrived at the couple’s household, paramedics attended to Steven’s everyday living-threatening injuries, though law enforcement spoke with the distraught Higdon and secured the scene.  Steven Freeman was rushed to the healthcare facility, but the 23-calendar year-aged died just minutes right before midnight.

At the chaotic scene, Higdon stated the gun went off unintentionally, as she was handing it to Freeman. But investigators seen foodstuff strewn across the kitchen area flooring, which lead them to believe that that there might have been an altercation prior to the shooting.  Law enforcement began to suspect that this was more than just an unlucky incident.

Mary Katherine Higdon
Mary Katherine Higdon is questioned by Lt. Chris Wilson. Wilson says that all through this interview, Higdon confessed to shooting her boyfriend Steven Freeman in anger. Law enforcement reported they experienced a confession on tape –but the audio on the tape wherever she allegedly confessed was impossible to hear due to a responses hum.

Spalding County District Attorney’s Workplace

Mary Katherine Higdon was escorted to police headquarters to be interviewed.

There she informed investigators a different tale, declaring the gun went off when she was tossing it to Freeman.  The job interview quickly turned into an interrogation, and investigators say Higdon all of a sudden confessed to murder, admitting she shot Freeman in anger.

Believing they experienced an ironclad confession on tape detectives arrested Mary Katherine Higdon for the murder of Steven Freeman.

But there was a huge difficulty. There was nothing but comments on most of the recording. Prosecutors would have to consider to make their case with no it.

At her June 2019 trial, prosecution witness Thomas Skinner testified that Higdon marketed guns at the very same sporting products retailer where by he also worked for a time. “I know she appreciates how to tackle a gun very perfectly,” Steven’s buddy instructed the court docket. Thomas Skinner went on to say that Higdon was lifted all around guns and bragged about her understanding of firearms to Freeman and his close friends.

Mary Katherine Higdon & Steven Freeman
Mary Katherine Higdon and Steve Freeman

Thomas Higdon

Mary Katherine Higdon took the stand in her own protection. She tearfully testified that Steven Freeman was the love of her daily life and that she in no way preferred to damage him.  Higdon was emphatic that the capturing was an incident and that she did not know that the gun experienced a bullet in its chamber and was primed to fire.

The prosecution confirmed the jury two show photos that discovered near-up specifics of the weapon utilised to shoot Freeman. A Griffin law enforcement sergeant also testified that the gun looked wet when he examined it, and that there also appeared to be cooking grease on the gun.

Mary Katherine Higdon cooked a London broil the night of the taking pictures. Prosecutors say there was cooking grease on the magazine and the slide of the gun, which they think proves the shooting was no incident – that the journal was out at a person stage and Mary Katherine had loaded the gun and racked it that evening, immediately after she and Steven Freeman threw the evening meal she had geared up in an argument.

Spalding County District Attorney’s Business office

Throughout her job interview with CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, prosecutor Kate Lenhard summarized her scenario for how and why she believes Higdon killed Freeman. Lenhard explained to the jury that the romance concerning Freeman and Higdon experienced been unraveling and that an enraged Mary Katherine shot Freeman when he at last arrived residence right after ignoring her texts all day, and then refused to consume the dinner she experienced cooked for him.

 “She took the magazine out of the gun with the arms that had been planning this food and was angry that he didn’t want to consume it. She place bullets in that journal. She put the magazine in the gun. She pulled the top of that gun back again. She chambered a round into it, and she exerted 5 and a few quarters lbs . force on that set off. And she pulled the induce since she was offended.” Lenhard advised “48 Hrs” the grease on the inside of the gun was proof that the capturing of Steven Freeman was not an incident, but murder.

In an job interview with Begnaud, Griffin law enforcement detective Adam Trammell applied the identical type of firearm Higdon employed, a Glock 42, to clearly show how to load the journal and then pull back the slide to chamber a bullet.  Detective Trammel’s on-camera demonstration illustrated investigators’ theory of how that grease finished up on each the top rated of the gun, and a lot more importantly, on the magazine within the weapon.  

Higdon gun demo
Detective Adam Trammel and CBS News correspondent David Begnaud at a gun range, wherever Trammel demonstrated the investigators’ theory of how grease finished up on the leading of the gun and on the journal within the weapon.

CBS Information

In his interview with “48 Hours,” protection legal professional Jorge Carabajal challenged the state’s proof: “They took a great near-up photograph of the gun. I did not see that stage of grease or something on that gun other than probably — what you would have on your fingers. …” 

But the trial would be about considerably extra than grease on a gun. Higdon testified that even though she didn’t know the gun was chambered, she experienced held the gun up that night due to the fact she was scared of Freeman. To the shock of many in the courtroom, Higdon painted a picture of escalating abuse at the hands of Freeman. She examine the jury numerous ugly, threatening text messages that Freeman despatched to her a calendar year prior to his dying.  Higdon also testified that Freeman hit her, and on two instances, that he raped her.

The prosecution was not shopping for it. In her cross-examination, Kate Lenhard confronted Higdon about never obtaining complained about Steven’s alleged abuse.

In the conclusion, it was up to the jury to choose if the defendant was guilty of any of the rates from her. The verdict: not responsible.

Quite a few in the court ended up stunned by the jury’s final decision to acquit Mary Katherine Higdon of all charges: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm all through the commission of a felony.

“48 Hours” spoke to some of the jurors to obtain out just what transpired though they deliberated powering closed doors. Listen to what they have to say on  “The Scenario Versus Mary Katherine Higdon” airing Saturday, July 24 at 9/8c on CBS and Paramount +.

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