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Two Fort Recovery High School softball coaches arrested on murder charges

According to court documents, the victim's body was found on County Road 125 West near C.R. 850 North in Jay County just before 2 a.m. on Jan. 12.

Posted: Jan 15, 2020 10:45 AM
Updated: Jan 16, 2020 9:53 AM

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PORTLAND, Ind. (WFFT) — An arrest affidavit released Wednesday says two Fort Recovery High School softball coaches conspired together to kill a man Sunday. 

Jay County Sheriff's deputies arrested 31-year-old Esther Stephen and 18-year-old Shelby Hiestand with murder in the death of Shea Briar. 

Briar was found around 2 a.m. Sunday lying on County Road 125 West in Jay County. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.

The affidavit says Briar and Stephen have a child together and that, during interviews, Stephen said she was angry with him because he petitioned the court for parenting time rights and to change the child's last name. 

Here's what Stephen and Hiestand told investigators, according to the affidavit: 

They dropped the child off at a friend's house and drove to Fairview United Methodist Church on County Road 200 S when they placed a .22-caliber rifle in the back of the vehicle. 

They called Briar at 12:02 a.m. Sunday and asked if he wanted to "hang out" with them. 

They picked him up from his home in Portland and drove to a bridge on County Road 125 in Jay County. 

Investigators say Stephen told them she distracted Briar by walking away from the vehicle and Hiestand shot him in the back with the rifle. 

On Jan. 13 an autopsy determined Briar's cause of death to be a gunshot wound from his back that penetrated his heart.

Stephen and Hiestand were softball coaches at Fort Recovery High School in Ohio.

They have been placed on administrative leave by the school.

The Jay County prosecutor says they are both being held at the Jay County Security Center without bond.


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