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Crime News Snapped: Killer Couples

Woman and Her Boyfriend Kill Husband, Drag His Body Through Her Kids' Bedroom As They Slept

“The murder happened in her home, and she had to have known about it,” Robbie Fox, former Sevierville police chief, said on Snapped: Killer Couples, as Shayne Lovera claimed she was innocent. “There was no way for her to get around that.”

By Caitlin Schunn
Shayne Lovera and Brett Rae featured on Killer Couples Episode 1712

Two visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park stopped along a scenic lookout near Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Nov. 6, 1994, only to discover what appeared to be a car wreck down the mountain. But as police investigated, it quickly became apparent this was no tragic accident.

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“Whatever happened, happened prior to going over the embankment,” Robbie Fox, former Sevierville police chief, said on Snapped: Killer Couples, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. “We felt something was very wrong. The injuries were more severe than what you would normally see in that type of a vehicular accident.”

The dead man in the vehicle was identified as 33-year-old Kelly Lovera through his driver’s license and wallet. His wife, Alicia "Shayne" Lovera, had reported him as missing to law enforcement that morning.

Kelly was found in the back seat of the vehicle, not the driver’s seat. An autopsy report ruled his cause of death was blunt force trauma.

“He had been severely beaten with a blunt object to the head,” said retired TBI special agent David Davenport on Snapped: Killer Couples. “Like someone had really took some type of tire iron or bat or club to him and just beat him senseless. It was overkill. Somebody really wanted him dead because you can just feel that what happened to him was a personal thing.”

How were Shayne Lovera and Brett Rae involved in Kelly Lovera's murder?

When police first spoke to Shayne Lovera and informed her of her husband’s death, she said she hadn’t seen him since the previous night. The couple had hosted a party at their apartment complex, and Shayne claimed that Kelly had fallen asleep on the couch, before waking up and accusing her of flirting with a man at the party. In a rage, he’d driven off, she calimed.

But then police got a call from a Sevierville resident named Jim Burney. Burney said his friend, 25-year-old Brett Rae, had called him early that morning to pick him up after a party. Burney told officers Rae’s clothes were dirty and bloody.

Kelly Lovera featured on Killer Couples Episode 1712

“Allegedly, Brett Rae told him, quote, ‘I did it. I did it. I got rid of Kelly,’” Fox said.


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Burney also pointed police to a location where he said Rae had thrown out his bloody clothes and other evidence. At that site, police found items of clothing, as well as a blanket missing from the Lovera home, all with Kelly Lovera’s blood type splattered on it.

Additionally, Burney provided police with a motive for Kelly Lovera's killing: Rae was living with Shayne Lovera’s sister, Kim, in the same apartment complex as the couple, and Rae and Kelly Lovera had become friends — even as Rae was having an affair with his wife.

“Shayne would crawl out the bedroom window, go down behind the apartments, and crawl in the window of Brett Rae,” Fox said. “Jim Burney said Brett was enamored with Shayne.”

Meanwhile, another neighbor at the Loveras' apartment complex called officers, and claimed to have had an affair with Shayne.

“Shayne had asked him more or less to help her kill her husband,” Fox said. “She told [him] she wanted the children and didn’t want to divorce [Kelly]. He told us she was looking at books on witchcraft, trying to find a poison that was not detectable on autopsy.”

Shayne Lovera’s own in-laws were also becoming suspicious of her behavior, particularly at her husband’s funeral.

“She was talking and laughing like it was a party,” Barbara Lovera, Kelly’s stepmother, said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “And she didn’t talk to any of us. She kind of ignored the whole Lovera family. I didn’t see her crying. I don’t remember even seeing her go to the casket. You would think somebody whose husband was dead would be at the casket grieving. But there was no sign of it. I just had this inner feeling she was involved.”

When police spoke to Rae about the allegations, he denied a romantic relationship with Shayne Lovera, and said they were friends. Despite his protests, he was charged with first-degree murder.

What evidence did police find in the Lovera case?

As police questioned Shayne again at her apartment, she denied an affair with Rae. But police could smell that cleaning supplies had recently been used inside, and one officer spotted a blood splatter on Kelly’s college diploma hanging on the wall.

“It was almost like Kelly was speaking out to us, saying, ‘Hey, look up here at my diploma!’” Davenport said. “So, we figured we’ve found where Mr. Lovera was killed right there in that apartment.”

Police found blood stains on the couch, and other equipment showed cleaned up blood splatters around the apartment.

“We believe that Shayne was cleaning up while Brett took Kelly to the national park,” Fox said.

Shayne Lovera and Brett Rae featured on Killer Couples Episode 1712

A blood trail in the carpet showed where the body had been moved.

“His body had been dragged from the living room into the kids’ bedroom, and then pitched out a window,” said Jamie Satterfield, former co-worker of Brett Rae, on Snapped: Killer Couples. “I don’t care if the kids are asleep. That is cold beyond cold.”

Although DNA testing didn’t exist at the time of the murder, the blood evidence still piled up. The blood in the apartment matched Kelly Lovera’s blood type. Brett Rae’s blood type was also found in the crashed vehicle.

Both Shayne Lovera and Brett Rae were indicted by a grand jury for first-degree murder, but after their release from jail on bond, police captured them on video continuing to meet up for sex in the wooded mountains.

Officers also found a second motive for Kelly Lovera’s murder: money. Kelly had a life insurance policy for $30,000. It paid double that amount if his death was the result of an accident.

Shayne Lovera and Brett Rae go on trial for Kelly Lovera's murder

Brett Rae tried to make a plea deal and avoid trial. He claimed he killed Kelly Lovera in self-defense with a bat after Kelly saw him in the apartment after the party and began attacking him. He admitted to moving Kelly’s body and dumping it as well as the vehicle over the mountain. But when he claimed Shayne wasn’t involved, prosecutors refused the deal.

“Shayne was unhappy in her marriage and they were living not the way she was used to living,” Davenport said. “Brett thought she walked on water and anything that Shayne wanted, Brett would give, because he was so focused on her.”

On March 26, 1996, their joint trial began.

“Shayne wanted the money, and she wanted custody of the children,” Reynolds said. “And Brett was her means of getting both.”

Shayne’s lawyers calleged Rae murdered her husband while she was asleep, and claimed she had no idea he would do that. She also said she continued their affair after she became a widow only out of fear.

“[Brett Rae] was threatening me, yes,” she said at trial.

Rae’s lawyers followed their client’s wishes and presented no defense for him.

“Brett is willing to fall on the sword for her,” Satterfield said. “He’s going to take the blame, and she’s pointing fingers at him from the get-go.”

A jury reached a verdict after only 90 minutes of deliberation. Both Shayne Lovera and Brett Rae were found guilty of the first-degree murder of Kelly Lovera. They were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

At the age of 22, Kelly and Shayne Lovera’s daughter, who was a small child when her father was murdered, attempted to reconcile with her mother in prison, after her mother finally admitted she was guilty.

“It just felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Casey Lovera said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “I don’t feel like she’s ever expressed any remorse. Am I sure she’s remorseful? I hope so.”

Despite what she said to her daughter, Shayne Lovera publicly maintained her innocence after her incarceration, and declined to be interviewed for Snapped: Killer Couples. She was granted parole in January 2022 and released from prison.

“She’s walking around free and clear, but Kelly’s still dead,” Barbara Lovera, Kelly’s stepmother, said. “He’ll always be gone. We won’t ever have that joy of him walking around.”

Brett Rae’s parole was denied in September 2023.

Watch all-new episodes of Snapped: Killer Couples on Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen and the next day on Peacock.

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