A nightmare more than two years in the making reached its climax for Shreveport woman Miriam Harley Wednesday, October 3, 2018, as she heard the man who shotgunned her five times in the back sentenced to the maximum prison term for his act.
Caddo District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. heard motions by Steven Killingsworth, 50, to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial, and denied each in turn. He then sentenced Killingsworth to 50 years in prison, without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
Harley and her mother had a chance to address the courtroom and Killingsworth, describing how his actions on May 22, 2016, forever changed their lives.
Harley, who maintained her composure in her five-minute victim statement, described how her life, once filled with family events and outdoor activities, has changed in the wake of Killingsworth’s rampage.
“Not only was I shot five times in my back, but I lost my left arm, which had to be amputated,” she said. “My life became much harder and a struggle for me.”
The repercussions of the shooting will increase as time goes on, she said.
“For the rest of my life I will have lead pellets in my body,” she said, noting that she will suffer neurological effects as well as organ failures due to increased lead levels in her blood. “There is no cure for it because I have so many pellets in my body.”
She noted that Killingsworth, who lived in Dallas at the time of the attack, had to drive from that metropolis with the shotgun, indicating he had deadly intent, and that he had posted his intentions on social media.
“It was a cowardly act, an inhumane act,” she said. “Evil.”
Killingsworth was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder Thursday, September 27, 2018, by a four-woman, eight-man jury in under 10 minutes. Proceedings began the previous Monday with jury selection, with the actual trial beginning Wednesday afternoon.
Killingsworth acted as his own defender with Michelle Andrepont of the Caddo Parish Public Defenders Office as standby counsel. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Pamela Moser and Ron Christopher Stamps.
Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr., who was on hand to reassure Harley and her family after the sentencing, noted it was timely that this transpired in October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“Ms. Harley is a very strong person and it was gratifying to see her have her day in court,” D.A. Stewart said. “Domestic violence has strong ramifications not only for the victim but also for all those connected to them. We will continue to serve those who have been victimized and committed to making the criminal justice system work for them.”
Prosecutors also were pleased with the outcome.
“I’m grateful to see a just result from this process, which has been long and arduous for the family,” ADA Moser added. “Although Ms. Harley and her family cannot be restored to their lives before this horrifying event occurred, I am pleased with the outcome, both from the jury’s verdict and the court’s sentence.”
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.