TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A Terre Haute man charged with murder after a 2020 shooting incident appeared in Vigo County Court on Tuesday.

35-year-old Steven W Rickard of Terre Haute appeared in Vigo County Superior Court 3 on Tuesday morning for his pre-trial hearing.

According to court documents, Rickard is facing charges of murder, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm at another and possession of methamphetamine. The probable cause affidavit shows Rickard was charged initially with the lesser charge of reckless homicide.

Police claimed on December 12, 2020, at a residence in the 1400 block of Grand Avenue in Terre Haute, Rickard shot and killed Kristen Gregg. Rickard initially claimed in a 911 call he had been cleaning a handgun when the gun accidentally fired, striking Gregg.

The probable cause affidavit also mentions a text the victim sent to a friend claiming Rickard and a friend had previously been physically abusive toward her. “They literally choked me several times and my ribs are cracked. I need help out of this relationship. I left, but I want to go back, idk what to do anymore” the text read.

When speaking with police, Rickard later told them he had been in the process of selling the gun in question and when the buyer handed the gun back to him it accidentally went off. Rickard later admitted to turning in the direction of Gregg and pulling the trigger.

“Steven then said he took the gun, turned around, pointed the gun in the direction of Kristen and pulled the trigger. He said he didn’t mean to fire the gun, but pulled the trigger too hard.”

Detective Kenny Murphy in the Probable Cause Affidavit against Steven Rickard

A search of Rickard’s home led police to discover a small amount of methamphetamine. A criminal history search showed Rickard was previously convicted of domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury as well as intimidation with a deadly weapon.

Rickard’s jury trial is scheduled for March 6 at 10 a.m. (EST).