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Wife of accused shooter testifies that she trusts him

The wife of Steven Smith, the man accused of attempting to shoot to death a woman who was pregnant with his child, took the stand in court Tuesday.

Renee Smith testified that she and her husband, Steven Smith, have had “ups and downs” in their relationship, which has gone on for more than six years, but she trusts him.

And they were trying to work through their problems, which included his admissions that he’d cheated on her and impregnated Gina Stanko.

Renee and Steven Smith were engaged at the time of the Nov. 6, 2009, shooting. They got married April 19, 2010, she testified.

Prosecutor Andy Cadena called her as a witness and asked her several questions about texts she and Steven Smith sent to each other in the days and hours leading up to the shooting incident.

Cadena asked Renee Smith if she had sent her then-fiance a text the morning of the shooting, stating “I can’t take this anymore; I’m giving my notice.”

Renee Smith testified she had sent the text but added that she and Steven Smith were working through their difficulties and the text meant that she was moving in with her mother for the time being.

Cadena has argued that Steven Smith’s motive to shoot Stanko was that Renee Smith indicated that she would leave him.

Steven Smith’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said that his client will testify and explain what happened, disputing Stanko’s side of the story.

Cadena asked Renee Smith if it was painful to learn the news that her fiance had cheated and that he had conceived a child with another woman — which she said she learned in April 2009.

“It wasn’t easy,” she acknowledged. “But it lessened for a little while.”

The jury Monday also heard an audio recording of Steven Smith’s police interview and read from a transcribed copy of that recording.

Funke-Bilu has objected to the accuracy of the transcription, citing the poor quality of the audio.

In the transcription, Steven Smith admits to going to Stanko’s home that night after months of what he called “harassing” phone calls, texts and visits to his home from Stanko.

“My blood was boiling, I was sittin’ there shakin’ and she’s talkin’ and then, yeah, and then I just — I don’t even really know how it went from there, it was just all of a sudden I had a gun in my hand,” Smith said, according to the transcript.

“I was just shooting it and I was like, oh (unintelligible) and she screamed and I kinda — I snapped to and I was like, all right, OK, and so I just took off.”

Smith said later in the transcript that Stanko tried to “kick and swat” at a pillow he laid on her before he said he’d “give her some lovin’ ” and she “started coming at me” after the first round fired.

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