It's justice, but not closure for the Norman Police Department's Deputy Chief and his family. The man accused of murdering his daughter is going to prison, but he's not getting the death penalty because of a plea deal.
Steven Ray Thompson was charged with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Thompson accepted a life sentence, which prosecutors say keeps the victim's family from years of appeals.
Thompson's lips were sealed as he walked out of the courtroom and on his way to prison where he will begin serving a life sentence for the death of 23-year-old Sara Maisano. In the courtroom, Maisano's family had a few words for the man who took their daughter's life. They also spoke to News 9.
“We live with this grief every day,” Sara's father, Jim Maisano, said. “There are sounds in the house that you think you hear. Some days it just seems like it was yesterday, and some days it seems like it was years ago.”
Time is all Thompson will have behind bars.
“He's received life without parole, which means he'll never see the streets again,” said Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks. “We get somebody off the streets where he can never do anything like this to another human being.”
Prosecutors say Thompson beat his girlfriend, as well as Sara Maisano, with the barrel and end of a shotgun all night and then shot Sara Maisano in the face.
“I saw the destruction that he did to her at the funeral home, and it was so unwarranted,” Jim Maisano said.
Jim Maisano is the deputy chief of the Norman Police Department but is now experiencing the other side and is doing so day by day.
“I've worked in law enforcement for 30 years,” said Jim Maisano. “I've been on the other side, but being on this side and being a victim like this, I can't imagine other families having to go through this same thing.”
Thompson had been accused of beating his girlfriend multiple times before his actions escalated, taking the life of a young woman who prosecutors say was killed while trying to protect her friend from the hands of Thompson.
“There is no such thing as closure with something like this,” said Sara's mother, Alicia Maisano. “Hopefully we can make something good come out of this. That's all we really want.”
The family hopes to bring awareness to domestic violence given Thompson's history.