A Kentucky jury rejected a claim of self-defense by woman who shot her allegedly abusive boyfriend six times in 2012, convicting her of murder for a second time.
Shayna Hubers, now 27, shot her on-again, off-again boyfriend Ryan Poston to death, and was not justified in doing so, the jury found on Tuesday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
When the verdict was announced, Hubers burst into tears and her mother fell to her knees and prayed in the courtroom, the newspaper reported. Poston’s family issued a statement saying, in part, “Today we embrace justice, and yet we do not feel joy. It has been six long and heartbreaking years without our beloved Ryan.”
Hubers was tried and convicted of murder by a jury in 2015, but the conviction was overturned after it was revealed that one of the jurors was a convicted felon, according to the Enquirer. Under Kentucky law, convicted felons cannot serve on juries in criminal cases.
Hubers, then 19 and a college student, met Poston, a 28-year-old lawyer, on Facebook in 2011, after her friends uploaded a photograph of her in a bikini, according to an earlier report in the Enquirer. Soon, they began dating, and saw each other on and off for an 18-month period.
Hubers testified that both she and Poston sometimes saw other people as well and, the newspaper reported, she said she went to extremes to please him sexually, including consenting to a menage-a-trois with another woman -- but only if Poston would post 10 new photographs of her to Facebook.
On the night he was killed, Poston had a date with Miss Ohio 2012, another woman he met on Facebook, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Prosecutors portrayed Hubers as a jealous ex-girlfriend, and a report appeared in the media comparing her to Jodi Arias.
But Hubers told police she shot Poston, with his own gun, which he was licensed to carry and usually placed on a kitchen table when he came home from work, because she was afraid he would shoot her.
“He beat me and tried to carry me out of the house and I came back in to get my things and he was right in front of me and he reached down and grabbed the gun and I grabbed it out of his hand and pulled the trigger,” a 911 audio recording shows.
After pulling the trigger the first time, she pulled the trigger five more times, shooting Poston twice in the head, once in the back, and three times in the chest. Police found his corpse on the floor, next to the table where he usually kept his gun.
“He was twitching, so I shot him a couple more times just to make sure he was dead because I didn’t want to watch him die,” Hubers told police during questioning later that night.
In closing arguments, Campbell County Prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass told the jury, "You put six bullets in a person, you're going to have to say it was self-defense or you're going to have to admit you're a cold-blooded killer," according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
But Hubers' lawyer, David Eldridge, said that Hubers was justified because she knew Poston was armed, adding that Poston treated Hubers "like a yo-yo."
“He would push her away and then bring her back," the lawyer said, according to the newspaper.
Like the jury in Hubers’s original 2015 trial, the jury in her retrial took just five hours to reject her claim of self-defense and convict her of murder.
The jury will begin deciding Huber’s sentence on Wednesday. She faces life in prison. Her first trial resulted in a 40-year sentence.
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