Woman who killed Jay County man loses appeal

Local News

PORTLAND, Ind. (WANE) — An appeal for a woman accused of killing the father of her child was denied down.

A Jay County Circuit Court in March found Esther Jane Stephen guilty of the death of Michael Briar in Jan. 2020.

In May Stephen was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Soon after Stephen’s attorney filed an appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In her appeal, Stephen’s legal counsel argued that evidence in her case did not justify her conviction, and also contended that she deserved a shorter sentence.

Two other women were also on trial for the murder of Briar. Shelby Hiestand was sentenced to 55 years in prison in September and Hannah Knapke was sentenced to 10 years behind bars as part of the plea deal.

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