Evidence photos in the case against Mary Katherine Higdon

Mary Katherine Higdon
Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

The investigation into Steven Freeman’s death reveals a toxic relationship between high school sweethearts.

Mary Katherine Higdon is seen talking to Lt. Chris Wilson. He says that during this interview, she confessed to shooting her boyfriend Steven Freeman in anger. Police said they had a confession on tape but there was nothing but feedback on the tape and it could not be repaired.

Evidence Moved

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Police moved the gun used to shoot Steven Freeman at the crime scene, claiming they feared Mary Katherine Higdon was reaching for it. Prosecutors say they should have moved Mary Katherine for safety reasons, not the gun. 

Police Bodycams Record Scene

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Body cameras on the responding officers show video of Mary Katherine Higdon after medics starting working on Steven Freeman. She told police at the scene that she was handing the gun to Steven and did not know it was chambered.

Mary Katherine Charged

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Kate Lenhard and Ashton Fallin

After her police interview, where police say Mary Katherine Higdon, 24, admitted to shooting Steven Freeman in anger, she was arrested and charged with his murder. 

Steven Freeman

Steven Freeman
Jennifer Freeman

On August 1, 2018, Steven Freeman was shot inside the home he shared with his girlfriend, Mary Katherine Higdon. He was 23 years old.  

High School Sweethearts

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Tom Higdon

Steven Freeman pictured with his girlfriend of seven years, Mary Katherine Higdon. The two were high school sweethearts and both enjoyed hunting, fishing and being outdoors. Friends of the couple say their shared interests made the two seem compatible at first but, over time, heir relationship became toxic. 

At the Crime Scene

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Authorities took this photo at the crime scene of a sign on the wall which reads: “BEWARE one shotgun tote’n pistol packin’ southern belle lives here.” 

Working with Guns

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Mary Katherine Higdon once worked selling guns at a local sporting goods store. Both Steven Freeman and Higdon owned firearms that they kept in their home, but Mary Katherine told police she never kept a round in the chamber of her gun. 

Other Firearms

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Several other firearms were photographed in the home the night of the shooting, including hunting rifles.  

Signs of a Fight

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Food thrown on the ground at the crime scene made investigators question if the shooting was accidental, as Mary Katherine had claimed initially, or if foul play might have been involved.   

Blood on the Mattress

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

When police arrived at the scene, Mary Katherine Higdon was rendering aid to Steven Freeman on this mattress. Mary Katherine’s attorneys claim she shot Steven in self-defense as he started to lunge at her, but prosecutors believe the collection of blood mostly in one part of the mattress suggests he was sitting down when she shot him.  

Steven’s Texts to Mary Katherine

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Jorge Carabajal and Michael Granims

Defense attorneys used texts pulled from an old phone of Mary Katherine’ Higdon’ Freeman’s to support her claims about Steven’s abusive behavior. Prosecutors say these texts, some from a year prior to the shooting, are his reactions after finding out Mary Katherine had slept with a friend of his while they were broken up. Prosecutors say that they are neither representative of his personality nor sufficient proof that Steven was abusive to Mary Katherine.

Grease on the Gun

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Spalding County District Attorney’s Office

Mary Katherine Higdon cooked a London broil the night of the shooting. Prosecutors say there was cooking grease on the magazine and the slide of the gun, which they believe proves the shooting was no accident – that the magazine was out at one point and Mary Katherine had loaded the gun and racked it that night, after she and Steven threw the dinner she had prepared in an argument.

Steven’s Texts to a Friend

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Kate Lenhard and Ashton Fallin

Steven Freeman sent these texts to his friend Andrew McRee three months before his death. Mary Katherine Higdon says she struggled with her mental health and claimed that this text was in reference to an incident in which she was trying to kill herself. She said she had never pointed a gun at Steven.

State vs. Mary Katherine Higdon

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CBS News

“48 Hours” was given a rare look at what prosecutor Kate Lenhard calls “the murder board.” Different sections of the board detail crucial information in the case, including the final communications between Steven Freeman and Mary Katherine Higdon as well as a timeline of Steven’s last night.

10 Stories

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CBS News

Prosecutor Kate Lenhard says Mary Katherine Higdon either revised or added details to her account of what happened the night Steven Freeman died 10 different times. 

Domestic Violence Advocacy

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Jennifer Freeman

Steven Freeman’s mother, Jennifer, believes her son was a victim of domestic violence and is sharing his story through advocacy work. Jennifer is pictured participating in a 5k for the Promise Place in Thomaston, Georgia, wearing a shirt with Steven’s photo that reads “Walk away, don’t stay.”