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3rd woman charged in Indiana custody dispute slaying


PORTLAND, Ind. (AP) — A third woman has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a man that allegedly arose from a child custody dispute.

Hannah L. Knapke, 18, of Fort Recovery, Ohio, was charged Tuesday in Jay Circuit Court with murder, court records show.

Knapke was arrested Wednesday and was being held without bond Thursday in the Jay County Jail

Esther Jane Stephen and Shelby Nicole Hiestand, 18, both of Portland, were charged last week with murder in the Jan. 12 slaying of 31-year-old Shea Michael Briar. Hiestand was found mortally wounded on a rural Jay County road and died later at a hospital.

At the time of their arrests, Stephen and Hiestand were the head coach and assistant coach, respectively, of Fort Recovery (Ohio) High School's softball teaml. Knapke had been a member of that team.

Court documents said Stephen was angry at Briar, the father of her young daughter, over a lawsuit concerning child custody issues. She was alleged to have lured him to the area where he was later found, where Hiestand reportedly shot him in the back with a rifle. An affidavit says Knapke drove Briar and the other two women to the scene of the shooting.

It wasn’t clear whether Knapke has an attorney who could speak on their behalf.


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