Jun 24, 2013 1:27 PM by Sam Salzwedel
TUCSON - The suspect charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend while her children watched has been returned from California.
Stephen Malone was transfered from a Los Angeles county jail to face trial for the murder. Malone made his initial appearance in video court Monday.
His bond was set for $500,000 and will appear in court again July 2.
TUCSON - A man accused of killing his girlfriend while their kids were in the car has been extradited back to Tucson.
Stephen Malone is under arrest for the June 11th murder of Tina Soto, near Valencia Road and Interstate 10. She was found dead in her car while her 4 and 5-year-old daughters were in the back seat.
The victim's mother, Teresa Soto, held a picture of her daughter while talking about her memory.
"I see a beautiful young lady that had her whole life ahead of her," Soto said, "and it's very painful not to have her here, not to be able to call her, and hear her voice, and see how my baby is doing."
Malone fled to California after the murder, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department. US Deputy Marshals and Los Angeles Police caught him and sent him back to Tucson.
"We just want our day in court with him," Soto said. "I would like to see justice for my daughter and for my granddaughters."
Soto and Malone were together since high school and had 3 kids together.
Rachel Tineo is the victim's aunt, but she was more like a second mother. Soto wanted out of the relationship, according to Tineo.
"If you're in a situation that's with domestic violence, please look for help," she said. "Ask for help. Seek for help. It's all out there. Unfortunately, Tina didn't get that help in time."
Teresa Soto is taking care of the 3 kids. She is accepting donations through the nonprofit group, Homicide Survivors.