E Indiana woman gets 55 years in slaying of child’s father

PORTLAND, Ind. — A judge sentenced an eastern Indiana woman to 55 years in prison Tuesday after a jury convicted her of murder in the shooting death of her child’s father

A jury found Esther J. Stephen, 30, of Portland guilty of murder in March in the Jan. 12, 2020, shooting death of Shea Briar, 31.

Court documents said Stephen and 19-year-old Shelby Hiestand picked up Briar at his Portland home and drove him to a rural bridge. Once there, Stephen distracted Briar while Hiestand shot him in the back with a .22-caliber rifle.

Court records show Stephen and Briar were in a custody battle over a child. Briar intended to establish paternity for the child, petitioned for child custody, and filed to provide support, parenting time, and a name change for the child.

Hiestand is set to stand trial Aug. 9.