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A man was sentenced for the 2018 murder of his estranged wife who he stabbed, shot and hit with a car on the side of a road.
Allen Warner, 51, was found guilty by a jury in Plymouth County, Massachusetts on Friday for the murder of Shana Warner, 48, according to a joint statement by District Attorney Timothy Cruz and Marshfield Police Chief Phillip Tavares. Following a seven-day trial, the Rockland man was also convicted of several firearm-related charges, theft of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident.
On Monday, Allen was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“At trial, Ms. Warner’s devastated family endured days of gruesome evidence and listened to her voice for the last time as she called 911 for help,” Cruz continued. “Today, at sentencing, they remembered Shana as a loving daughter, mother, and sister whose spirit held their family together. Shana Warner’s death was not in vein [sic], and I hope that her family can find some solace knowing that justice has been done.”
Allen Warner became the subject of a manhunt when officers with the Marshfield Police Department received reports of a possible carjacking or domestic violence incident at around 5:51 p.m., according to the District Attorney’s office. The incident on Main Street was also reported by the victim.
A homicide report obtained by CBS Boston painted a grisly picture of the events based on Shana Warner’s 911 call.
“The victim was completely and utterly in distress,” the report stated. “At one point, the caller/victim in Marshfield was talking to the dispatcher, breathing heavy and seemingly acting frantic. The caller stated her ex-husband jumped into her car. She was confused of her location. She then stated that she cannot drive right now and her ex-husband was no longer in the vehicle. The caller states she is very hurt. As the State dispatcher is talking to Marshfield dispatch you can hear the caller begin screaming frantically.”
At trial, several witnesses stated they saw Allen parked behind Shana on the side of the road. One said he initially believed Allen was a Good Samaritan approaching Shana’s vehicle with a stick, assuming she was stuck. The witness said he then heard the sound of a gunshot before hearing Shana’s screams.
Another witness stated they saw the Allen hit Shana with the car, making “no attempt to avoid the female.”
“On Sept. 24, 2018, for approximately 15 minutes, Shana Warner was under attack, left to die alone on the side of a road as her assailant, Allen Warner, fled,” said D.A. Cruz. “Route 3A was shutdown, Marshfield High School was in lockdown, and State Police and Marshfield Police embarked on an exhaustive, statewide investigation, ultimately leading to Allen Warner’s arrest.”
Detectives with the Massachusetts State Police said they found Shana on her back about two to three feet from a vehicle with its ignition still turned on, according to the report. The car was off the road and near a tree line, where responders found footprints leading into a wooded area.
The victim suffered a “large laceration on her chin, heavy bleeding in her chest and shoulder" and the medical examiner found several stab wounds to her chest, shoulder, and head. One injury was so severe that it nearly severed her chin, according to the report. Authorities found what appeared to be blood on the car’s tire, the front seat and a nearby rock. Shana, the report said, had also been shot.
She was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:43 p.m.
Authorities engaged in a multi-agency manhunt that included the use of police dogs and air units, according to the District Attorney’s office.
The following day, police responded to calls of a hit-and-run after Warner stole a flatbed truck and drove it the wrong way through a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru before hitting potted plants, according to CBS Boston.
“It was very scary; I had no idea it was him,” an employee told CBS Boston. “He was laughing about it. He thought it was funny, that he was just going through here, and he saw us and thought nothing of it. He didn’t think he was going to get caught.”
Warner was arrested at that time.
Shana Warner had filed for divorce from Allen Warner for a third time earlier that year, according to CBS Boston. Shana's petition referenced Allen being “physically and verbally abusive” towards her due to his substance abuse.
Shana’s father told authorities that Shana was in a relationship with a new man and had “finally found happiness in her life,” according to the homicide report. Shana had apparently blocked Allen’s phone number on her phone.
Shana’s boyfriend referred to Allen as a “crazy ex-boyfriend” in his interview with police. He also claimed Allen sent Shana “weird calls and texts” from several different phone numbers.
In the days leading up to Shana’s murder, Marshfield Police Chief Phillip Tavares said authorities believed Allen was “skulking” nearby in hopes of confronting Shana, according to CBS Boston. Police said despite “numerous interactions” with Allen, there had been no basis for officers to arrest him.
“We offer our condolences to Shana’s family, and I am hopeful that today’s sentencing brings some measure of peace to her family,” said Chief Tavares. “It is clear in all of the evidence that was presented during the trial and uncovered during the investigation that the defendant spent significant time and effort planning this horrific, extreme murder."
"What Mr. Warner failed to prepare for was the dedication and effort put forth by so many police officers and prosecutors," the chief added. "He thought he was going to get away with this heinous crime, but he was wrong.”
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