Kentucky Woman Convicted of Murder for a Second Time

A woman in Kentucky was convicted for a second time in the killing of her allegedly abusive boyfriend.

In 2012, Shayna Hubers, now 27, fatally shot her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Ryan Poston six times. Though she claimed self-defense, she was found to be unjustified in doing so.

A Chance Online Meeting

Hubers met Poston on Facebook in 2011. She was just a 19-year-old college student, while he was a 28-year-old attorney. They dated for a period of 18 months, though both occasionally saw other people. According to her testimony, Huber went out of her way to please him sexually, agreeing to a ménage-a-trois with another women if he would agree to post a number of pictures of her to Facebook.

Jealousy: A Tale as Old as Time

On the night he was killed, Poston had a date with another woman, Miss Ohio 2012, who he had also met on Facebook. The prosecution painted Hubers as a jealous ex-girlfriend, upset about his planned encounter. She told police that she had shot him with his own gun, which he was licensed to carry. She claims that she usually placed it on a kitchen table when he would arrive home from work, as she was fearful of him and that he might shoot her.

Murder or Self-Defense?

Hubers explained her alleged actions in a call to 911 after the incident. “He beat me and tried to carry me out of the house and I came back in to get my things and he was right in front of me and he reached down and grabbed the gun and I grabbed it out of his hand and pulled the trigger,” she is heard saying in the audio.

She shot him a total of six times, twice in the head, once in the back, and three times in the chest. His body was found next to the table. “He was twitching so I shot him a couple more times just to make sure he was dead because I didn’t want to watch him die,” she told police the same night.

A First Conviction Overturned

In 2015 Hubers was found guilty of murder during a jury trial. However, in August 2016 her conviction was overturned after it was learned that one of the jurors was a convicted felon. Under Kentucky law, convicted felons may not serve on juries for criminal cases.

Due to such, she faced trial again this year.

In closing, the prosecution argued that the only two options Hubers had were to either admit that she was a cold-blooded murderer or claim self-defense. The prosecution made it clear that she would “have to say it was self-defense.” The Defense on the other hand claimed that Hubers knew that Poston was armed, and had been justified. It was also emphasized that Poston treated Hubers “like a yo-yo.” “He would push her away and then bring her back,” said her criminal defense attorney, David Eldridge.

A Familiar Outcome

The jury however sided with the prosecution, taking only five hours to convict her of murder – the same amount of time that it took at the previous trial. She has already been jailed for about five years and 10 months. Though she was initially sentenced to 40 years during the first trial, the jury has recommended a life sentence for her this time. Her first chance at parole will not be until after 20 years. Despite the steep sentence, those who loved Ryan still struggle to move forward. “Today we embrace justice, and yet we do not feel joy. It has been six long and heartbreaking years without our beloved Ryan.”

Posted in: Criminal Defense