Portland woman convicted of murder for killing softball coach’s former boyfriend

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PORTLAND, Ind. (WANE) – A Portland woman was found guilty of murder for killing her softball coach’s former boyfriend when she was 18-years-old. The guilty verdict happened on Wednesday afternoon.

Shelby Hiestand was convicted for the Jan. 12, 2020, shooting death of Shea Briar.

Shelby-Hiestand-Esther-Stephen (1)
Pictured are, from left, Shelby Hiestand and Esther Stephen.

According to court documents, Heistand, then 18, met Esther J. Stephen at a Fairview church, where they called Briar. The pair then picked up Briar at his Portland home and the three drove to a bridge on C.R. 125 West.

On the bridge, while Stephen distracted Briar, Hiestand shot him in the back with a .22-caliber rifle, according to court records.

Briar was found in the roadway around 2 a.m. Jan. 12. He was taken to a Decatur hospital then transferred to a Fort Wayne hospital, where he was pronounce dead.

jury found Stephen guilty of the crime in March. She was sentenced 55 years for murder.

Court records show Stephen and Briar were in a custody battle over a child. Briar intended to establish paternity for the child, petitioned for child custody, and filed to provide support, parenting time, and a name change for the child.

The Fort Recovery Local Schools in Fort Recovery, Ohio confirmed Stephen and Hiestand were softball coaches at the school.

Hiestand will be sentenced Sept. 24.

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