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Closing arguments made in Paso Robles shooting trial

Twelve jurors will soon decide whether a San Miguel man accused of shooting a woman he impregnated in 2009 is guilty of attempted murder.

In San Luis Obispo Superior Court, law-yers concluded closing arguments Monday in the trial against Steven Smith, 27, who is accused of shooting Gina Stanko, 35, in the head and hand with a .22-caliber pistol Nov. 6, 2009, in Paso Robles.

Prosecutor Andy Cadena told jurors in a packed courtroom that Smith was a narcissist who intentionally shot Stanko.

Cadena described Smith as a “womanizer” who treated women as objects and played a game called “hit it and quit it.”

Smith’s motive for the shooting, Cadena said, was to avoid taking responsibility for the unborn child and to prevent his fiancee from leaving him. He told jurors that Smith’s intent was clear when he fired a gun several times at close range.

“One bullet is enough to show that he attempted to kill but he fired multiple times,” Cadena said.

The decision to take the gun inside the house, Cadena said, also shows that Smith intended to harm Stanko.

Cadena described Smith as a “narcissist” who is “self absorbed and thinks it is OK to shoot a pregnant woman.”

Defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu said his client was being unfairly characterized as an attempted killer because of what the defense called Smith’s proclivity toward treating women like objects.

Funke-Bilu called the defense biased and solicited the jury to set their own biases aside when deliberating the case.

“My client is accused of participating in unprotected sex, but there are two people here,” he said. “Where I come from it takes two to tango.”

Funke-Bilu said a natural bias exists in support of women who are pregnant but that his client, Smith, was the victim in the situation.

Smith was acting in self-defense, Funke-Bilu said. The gun was intended for protection against a woman he feared. It was not brought into Stanko’s home with the intent of using it, Funke-Bilu said.

“He was hoping with a gun, just once, he would be able to stop her from hitting him,” Funke-Bilu said.

Funke-Bilu challenged much of the prosecution’s evidence, including evidence that more than two bullets were fired.

He also called the investigation the “worst that San Luis Obispo has ever seen.”

Funke-Bilu rebutted the prosecution’s statement which, he said, made him appear to demonize and dehumanize Stanko.

“She is not a demon or some sort of monster,” Funke-Bilu said. “She is a human being like me and you. She’s a mother. She has children. And she is a sick, sick woman with serious anger issues.”

Smith has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and burglary in the shooting.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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