Steven Freeman shot by girlfriend Mary Katherine Higdon: 48 Hours asks murder or accident?

Mary Higdon and Steven Freeman pose in the woods
Mary Higdon says the death of boyfriend, Steven Freeman, was a tragic accident. Pic credit: @48 Hours/YouTube

48 Hours on ID is investigating the tragic death of Steven Freeman from Griffin, Georgia, who was shot dead by his high school sweetheart and live-in girlfriend, Mary Katherine Higdon.

Higdon has always maintained that the gun went off accidentally, but the police believe that she committed a calculated murder.

Late on the evening of August 1, 2018, Higdon telephoned the cops to say she had accidentally shot her boyfriend, Freeman.

On the 911 call, the 24-year-old Higdon sounded extremely frantic and distraught; she told the dispatcher that she had grabbed a Glock 43 firearm without realizing there was a bullet in the chamber. She said the gun went off as she handed it to Freeman.

When the police arrived, they found 23-year-old Freeman lying severely wounded on the floor with a bullet wound in his chest. He was rushed to the hospital, but he tragically died later that evening.

At the scene, the cops struggled to calm Higdon down; she was crying and yelling that she was sorry and that she didn’t want to “lose him.” She repeatedly shouted: “I cannot lose him.”

However, as the investigators examined the scene, they saw clear evidence that indicated a fight might have occurred at the home, and they began to wonder if foul play was involved.

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Higdon was taken down to the police station to be interviewed; the cops grew even more suspicious when she seemed to change her story; she now stated that the gun had gone off when she tossed it to her boyfriend.

The officers began to lean on the woman a bit harder, and they say, at one point, Higdon actually confessed to the murder. However, the audio recording from that interview was damaged, and there is no record of this confession.

Higdon subsequently argued that she had never made such an admission, and she continued to assert that the killing was an accident.

The case went to trial, with the prosecution arguing that the couple’s relationship had been deteriorating for some time. They claimed that Higdon was enraged that Freeman had ignored her texts all day.

They said that when Freeman eventually returned home, he had refused to eat the meal that his girlfriend had cooked for him, which was the final straw for Higdon, who snapped and fired at him.

The prosecution pointed to Higdon’s job in a gun store in an attempt to prove that she was proficient in gun safety and would not have allowed such a safety lapse that occurred when Freeman was killed.

Mary Katherine Higdon defended herself

Higdon defended herself passionately from the stand. She maintained that it had all been an accident and that she had loved Freeman.

However, she also surprised many when she accused her boyfriend of abusive behavior towards her. She said that he had hit her on two occasions and had even raped her.

Higdon had been charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. But in the end, the jury sided with her argument, and she was acquitted of all charges.

More from 48 Hours on ID

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on 48 Hours on ID.

Mary Day was 13 years old when she vanished from her home in 1981. Years later, the police suspected her parents of murder, but as they built a case, a grown woman appeared, claiming to be Mary.

One night, millionaire Michael Reuschel attacked his wife, Sue Reuschel, severely injuring her with a knife. He then stabbed himself in the arm and told the police they’d been victims of a home invasion. However, Sue recovered and accused him of attempted murder.

48 Hours on ID airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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