Young Ind. Softball Coach Helped Fellow Coach Kill Her Ex Amid Tense Custody Battle, Jury Finds

Wednesday's verdict capped a three-day trial in Jay County

Shelby Hiestand and Esther Stephen
Shelby Hiestand (left) and Esther Stephen (right). Photo: Portland Police

A 20-year-old Indiana woman faces up to 65 years in prison following her conviction this week for the 2020 killing of her friend's ex-boyfriend.

On Wednesday, jurors found Shelby Nichole Hiestand guilty of the murder of Shea Michael Briar, PEOPLE confirms with court sources.

The verdict capped a three-day trial inside a Jay County courtroom.

Investigators alleged the 31-year-old victim was lured to his Jan. 12, 2020, death by Hiestand and Esther Stephen, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young daughter.

At the time of the murder, Stephen was the head softball coach at Fort Recovery High School in Fort Recovery, Ohio — which is situated near the state's border with Indiana.

Hiestand, who was 18, was the softball team's assistant coach.

According to police, Hiestand and Stephen picked Briar up at his Portland, Ind., home, and then drove to a bridge, where he was shot in the back and left for dead along a rural road.

Investigators alleged it was Hiestand who pulled the trigger while Stephen distracted him.

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Briar was found by someone not long after, and later, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

At the time of his death, he and Stephen were embroiled in a custody battle over their child.

In March, a jury convicted Stephen of murder. She was eventually sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Hiestand will be sentenced in September.

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