MCCLAIN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The man accused of choking a pregnant young mother to death is on trial and is facing the death penalty.

Joshua Finkbeiner, is accused in Shaliyah Toombs’ 2018 death.

Joshua Finkbeiner.
Joshua Finkbeiner.

In May of 2018, McClain County deputies said Toombs’ decomposing body was found in a black truck in Goldsby after she was missing for days.

“I mean, any time somebody is left in a vehicle for several days, that’s definitely suspicious, especially with somebody driving the vehicle around,” Lt. Chris Grace, with the McClain County Sheriff’s Office, told News 4 back in 2018.

The driver, Daniel Vasquez, told a Chickasaw Lighthorse Police officer about her body and that he ran out of gas.

Days earlier, in late April, court documents show Toombs borrowed Finkbeiner’s girlfriend’s, Stacy Harjo, Jeep. Inside the car was Finkbeiner’s backpack, allegedly filled with tools and hard drives for work.

The couple accused Toombs of stealing that backpack.

After a search, investigators found Finkbeiner, Harjo, and another suspect, in Arkansas. They were taken into custody and questioned.

At the trial on Wednesday, Finkbeiner told investigators he and Harjo went to Toombs’ home in Oklahoma City to confront her. Vasquez was also at the apartment.

We know that same night, Toombs sent a text to her mother saying “They gonna kill me mom help me.”

“It was disturbing initially. It was just like she’s in trouble,” Twyla Taylor, Toombs’ mother previously told News 4.

Vasquez told investigators he and Toombs were forced into Finkbeiner’s truck to search for the backpack all night.

📧 Have fresh headlines sent to your inbox! Subscribe to KFOR’s Morning Headline Newsletter

At some point, Finkbeiner first choked Toombs. Then, Harjo allegedly told Vasquez to finish killing her.

Wednesday, jurors watched a lengthy interrogation video. In the video, Finkbeiner repeatedly denied harming Toombs, even after the OSBI investigator falsely told Finkbeiner and Vasquez’s DNA was on Toombs.

Finkbeiner claimed Vasquez and Toombs actually stole the truck. When he later saw the discovery of Toomb’s body in the truck on News 4, he was scared. He said he should’ve reported the truck stolen earlier.

Vasquez was convicted on four counts of first degree murder in 2021 and was sentenced to the death penalty.

Harjo is being held in jail on murder charges.

Court starts back up Thursday morning at 9:00am.