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'I just felt terrified': Otis McKane's ex-girlfriend describes threatening relationship during sentencing phase of trial

The sentencing phase of McKane's trial continued Tuesday after he was found guilty of shooting and killing a police detective in 2016.

SAN ANTONIO — As the sentencing phase for convicted murderer Otis McKane continues, his ex-girlfriend took the stand for a second day Tuesday, describing a toxic relationship filled with verbal and physical abuse.

Saharia Paillett-Hill’s relationship with McKane sparked when she met him through mutual friends. At the time, he was working at McDonalds and experiencing difficulties with maintaining steady work.

Paillett-Hill noted this would prove difficult in the future as McKane stopped paying child support on a regular basis for their son. She added she noticed red flags early in the relationship, which eventually prompted protective orders and required third-party witnesses for child exchanges.

She expressed concern for not only her safety, but her son’s safety as well.

Paillett-Hill recalled the time McKane refused to give up his son during a child exchange at McDonalds.

Her father, Larry, who also was present, proceeded to physically intervene and tried retrieving the boy.

Paillett-Hill testified on the one time she was choked by McKane, fearing she would possibly die.

“At that time, he was very forceful. He did grab a hold of me. I couldn’t breathe to the point of blacking out,” Paillett-Hill said.

She cited examples of McKane’s aggression evolving into mental abuse as well; in particular threats to kill her while she was behind the wheel.

“I felt scared I felt complete shock because that never happened before. I didn’t feel any love, I just felt terrified and frightened,” Paillett-Hill said.

McKane could be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life behind bars, after he was found guilty of shooting and killing SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi in 2016.

The defense anticipates to presents its case in the punishing phase Wednesday afternoon.

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