The San Miguel man accused of attempting to murder the woman he impregnated in 2009 began taking questions from the prosecutor Tuesday about why he didn’t take specific actions to stop her alleged harassment.
During questioning from prosecutor Andy Cadena, Steven Smith said in a San Luis Obispo Superior Court room that he didn’t change his phone number and continued receiving texts and calls from Gina Stanko because he thought she’d just find out his new number if he changed it.
Smith also acknowledged not paying $40 to file a restraining order against Stanko because he didn’t have the money and suggesting during conversations with Stanko that she try to abort their baby.
Cadena — who continues his cross-examination today — also asked Smith about why he didn’t tell a Paso Robles Police Department investigator about Stanko’s alleged harassment, which he has testified to over the course of about three days. Smith’s testimony has included accounts of three car chases and blows she dealt that left marks on his body.
Smith said that a lot was running through his mind after the alleged shooting when he was interviewed by police and he’d become accustomed to her verbally and physically abusive treatment.
Cadena asked Smith if it was difficult to maintain his relationship with then-fiancee, Renee Coppini, who is now his wife, while trying to appease Stanko, who was demanding he take responsibility for their child.
Smith repeated that he initially didn’t know if Stanko’s child was his, but acknowledged his situation “wasn’t easy” to deal with.
During questioning from his attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, Smith testified that Stanko drove by his work slowly a handful of times, staring at him, and he reported those incidents to police because she had a restraining order against him that prevented him from being near her.
But during cross-examination, Cadena asked Smith whether he waited two weeks to report an initial incident to police. Smith said he did wait that long, but that he was out of town and had been told she’d driven by from people he worked with.
Smith is expected to take the stand again at 10:30 a.m. today.