Mother of slain Tucson woman says she was victim of domestic violence

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Tucson man accused of the first degree murder of his girlfriend has been brought back to Pima County to face charges.

Authorities say Stephen Malone is now in the Pima County Jail. He was arrested on Wednesday in Los Angeles.  The arrest came a day after the man's girlfriend, 25-year-old Augustina Soto was found fatally shot in a car on Tucson's south side.

Authorities say Soto and Malone were in a domestic relationship and had three children.

They say 2 of the children - ages 4 and 5 - were in the back seat of the car Tuesday night when Soto was shot.

The children were not injured, but their grandmother, Theresa Soto who is caring for them tells Tucson News Now that they are in shock.  They want to know where their mother is, and they will be in treatment for a long time.

Theresa Soto says her daughter Augustina, who they call "Tina", had been in a relationship with Malone since they were in high school.  The two were high school sweethearts.

Soto said her daughter had tried to walk out of that relationship, and finally left for good two weeks before the shooting.

Soto describes her daughter's boyfriend as a monster.

"I think he's a monster.  He was like a Jekyll and Hyde.  He put on a front and had a monster inside of him," said Theresa Soto.

She added that she had forgiven Malone for his crime because she was a Godly woman, but he had really hurt her.

Soto described her daughter Tina as a compassionate, kind woman who put a smile on everyone's face.

Malone faces a judge a Pima County Judge on first degree charges on Monday morning.  He is being held on a half million dollar bond.