Georgia teacher’s assistant accused of shooting, killing high school sweetheart

Credit: Griffin Police Department

Credit: Griffin Police Department

A preschool teacher's assistant is accused of killing her high school sweetheart in the home they shared together in Griffin, Georgia.

Mary Katherine Higdon, 24, reportedly shot Steven Freeman, 23, in the chest Wednesday night at their home, Griffin police told WSB.

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Higdon, who most recently worked as a preschool teacher’s assistant at St. George’s Episcopal School in Griffin, told officers the gun went off accidentally. She was in the back room of their home and as she handed the gun to Freeman, it went off, she allegedly told police.

Investigators told WSB the evidence shows otherwise.

The lead detective on the case, who said he couldn’t go into detail because it is still under investigation, said evidence at the scene showed there was intent to kill.

Police said they smelled alcohol on Higdon’s breath.

She mumbled and couldn’t make out what happened, police said. She reportedly kept telling officers she “didn’t understand what happened since she never kept a round in the chamber.”

Neighbor Jeanette Head said the high school sweethearts were known to argue, but no one expected this.

“She was out on the porch with the police officers and she said, she was crying, ‘I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t mean to do it,’” Head said.

Police said they’d been previously called out to the home five times in the past year -– four times for animal issues and once for a domestic disturbance.

Freeman's uncle, Judge Josh Thacker, said both families are in shock.

“The word devastation doesn’t begin to cover it. It’s hard to get through a couple of minutes without crying,” Thacker said.

Higdon and Freeman had been together for seven years, and their families were incredibly close, even sharing Christmas mornings together, Thacker said.

“We’ve lost two people in this. We’ve lost Steven, but obviously our relationship will be changed with Mary Katherine, and my heart goes out to the Higdon family because they are doing the same thing,” Thacker said.

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