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Officer: Man said he shot woman

A San Miguel man admitted to shooting a pregnant woman who said she was his girlfriend, a Paso Robles police detective testified Friday.

Detective Michael Rickerd said Steven Smith, 26, told Rickerd he exchanged text messages with the victim before he entered her Paso Robles home the night of Nov. 6.

Smith told Rickerd that he became very angry over the text and phone messages from the woman and sat in his car in the woman’s driveway for 10 to 15 minutes stewing, Rickerd said.

Rickerd didn’t get into detail about what each of the messages said but mentioned an exchange in which Smith said he was going to the bar after the woman asked if he was coming to her home. She then wrote that she wanted to go to the bar, too.

Then he took a .22-caliber pistol into the home, carrying the gun in his pants’ front pocket, and after talking, he told her to lie down so he could “give her some loving” and fired the shots, Smith reportedly told Rickerd.

Officer Tod Rehner said he arrived at the home to find the 34-year-old woman conscious and walking around, though she was wounded on her chin, scalp and right hand. Blood and bullet fragments were found splattered throughout the home.

Rickerd said Smith had received a message from his fiancee that morning saying she was moving out of the home they shared. The fiancee isn’t the same person as the victim.

Rickerd said Smith texted back within a few minutes saying that he’d handle the situation that night.

Based on the times of the text messages and the 911 call, Rickerd estimated that Smith was in the victim’s home about 20 minutes.

Rickerd said that Smith told him in the audio-recorded interview, which lasted more than an hour, that he shot the woman twice and then “continued firing.” Smith allegedly told police that after examining his gun later in his car, he realized he had fired five shots.

Smith has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted premeditated murder of the woman, attempted premeditated murder of an unborn child and burglary along with enhancements for using a firearm.

Smith’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said his client “did not fire any shots” and that the full story will come out during trial.

Rehner said the victim also said Smith told her to lie down so he could “give her some loving” before he held a pillow over her face and fired the gun. Rickerd said Smith also told him that he had a pillow in his hand, but the woman knocked it away before he started shooting.

Rehner said the woman was about 38 weeks pregnant at the time of the shooting.

The woman and baby survived, said Lt. Ty Lewis, a spokesman for the Paso Robles Police Department, on Friday.

It’s unclear whether the baby is Smith’s child and whether a paternity test has been conducted.

Police are not disclosing the woman’s name because she is believed to be a victim of domestic violence.

Smith was suspended last month from his role as a volunteer assistant football coach at Paso Robles High School, where he had passed a criminal background check about five years ago.

Funke-Bilu said that he’ll argue to reduce Smith’s $1 million bail at the next scheduled hearing — an arraignment on Jan. 12. Smith is in custody in County Jail.

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