OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City man is dead and his girlfriend behind bars after a violent domestic incident turned deadly Tuesday afternoon. Police initially arrested the 36-year-old suspect for domestic assault.
After the victim passed away Wednesday morning the charges were upgraded to murder. Police found 48-year-old Walter Garland III suffering serious wounds inside his home.
The suspect, Aisha Smith, was found still bloody and backing out of the driveway.
“When she spoke with officers she claimed she had been cut with something,” Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow says.
Police admit it’s not clear what sparked the violent altercation. The couple had a lengthy history of domestic violence.
“There were several calls to this residence over the past year and most were domestic related,” said Wardlow.
Over the last two years, the couple filed numerous protective orders against each other.
In one petition Smith wrote, “This relationship is not going to work out because of the abuse.”
Smith added Garland “has threatened to kill my kids, my mother, and me.”
“It’s a sad situation. I know there’s a history there. It has gone back and forth,” said attorney Michael Noland.
In late 2012 prosecutors charged Smith with domestic assault and battery. Garland claimed Smith “punched him and threw bleach in his face, then stabbed him in the head, leaving a cut across his left ear down to his jaw.”
Attorney Noland represented Smith in that case and eventually got the charges dismissed, but the history between the two could play a role in Smith’s defense.
“In a domestic violence situation, the history is always important to see where it has come from and gone to,” said Noland.
Ultimately, it’ll be up to the district attorney’s office to decide whether Smith somehow acted in self defense or should be tried for murder.
The suspect remains behind bars tonight in the Oklahoma County jail.