Woman handed 10 years in 2020 killing of Jay County man

Hannah Knapke
Hannah Knapke(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:09 PM EST
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JAY COUNTY, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - An Ohio woman who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the killing of a man in January of 2020 has been sentenced.

In court on Wednesday, Hannah Knapke was sentenced to 10 years behind bars as part of the plea deal. An additional 7.5 years will be spent on probation, court records show.

Knapke, now 20, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in September this year, following convictions for two other women. Esther Stephen was sentenced to 55 years in May after she was found guilty of murder in March.

Shelby Nicole Hiestand was also convicted and sentenced earlier this year to 55 years in prison. The three women worked together in the killing of 31-year-old Shea Briar, who was found shot to death on County Road 125 W. near County Road 850 N in Jay County.

Stephen and Briar had a child together and Briar had filed for additional parental rights and for the court to change the child’s last name.

The defendants were connected through a Fort Recovery, Ohio, high school softball team, where Stephen and Hiestand coached and where Knapke was a player. Fort Recovery is located in neighboring Mercer County, just east of the crime scene.

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