Ryan Poston was a charming young lawyer with his whole life ahead of him. He had just opened his own law firm, was beloved by his family and friends, had no enemies, and was always surrounded by beautiful women. Then he was found lifeless with what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds. The crime was shocking. Ryan lived in a safe town where murders like this just don’t happen. So, what the heck happened?!
Shayna was a beautiful, bright college student. She was known for her intelligence, but her good looks certainly didn’t go unnoticed. She also had her whole life ahead of her. But on that fateful night of October 12, 2012, she called 911 claiming that she had killed her boyfriend. That’s when everything changed.
A Dark, Fateful Night
That 911 dispatcher heard this young girl freaking out about shooting her boyfriend. Shayna immediately raised red flags when she made sure to tell the operator that it was in self-defense. When she was brought in for questioning, Shayna continued to claim self-defense. She asked for a lawyer but completely ignored her right to remain silent.
Since she asked for a lawyer, detectives were not allowed to question her. But that didn’t stop her from blabbing and revealing some incriminating information. It immediately became clear to law enforcement that it was no accident that Shayna Hubers murdered Ryan Poston in cold blood.
A Match Made in Heaven
Ryan and Shayna first met in 2011. He had just gotten out of a long-term relationship with a girl named Lauren Worley and was on the rebound. That’s when Ryan’s cousin Carissa Carlisle introduced him to Shayna. The two were attracted to each other from the get-go, and before long, they began dating.
At the time, Shayna was studying psychology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, just about 80 miles from Highland Heights. After graduating, she started her master’s degree in school counseling. Meanwhile, she and Ryan weren’t in the healthiest relationship and would break up multiple times throughout their 18-month romance.
Ryan Wanted Out
Ryan reportedly wanted to get out of this volatile relationship, but Shayna wouldn’t let him go. On October 11, 2012, Ryan ended it with Shayna for good. He didn’t want to stay in an unhappy relationship just because he felt sorry for breaking up with her. Plus, he had a date set up for the following evening with Audrey Bolte, Miss Ohio USA 2012.
Ryan and Audrey met on Facebook and immediately hit it off. They were both excited to finally go on a date and meet each other in person. However, Ryan didn’t show up. Audrey thought he might be standing her up, so she decided to head home.
The First Date That Never Happened
But Ryan didn’t stand her up. While Audrey was patiently waiting at the bar for the young, dashing lawyer, Ryan was already dead. The next time she heard of him was on the news the next day when it was reported that he had been killed after getting shot in the head and face more than six times.
There was no question about who committed the crime. Shayna admitted it multiple times and never once denied it. But she always maintained that she killed him in self-defense.
Murder or Self-Defense?
Shayna reportedly called 911 just 10 to 15 minutes after pulling the trigger. She told the dispatcher that Ryan “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 hands and pulled the trigger.”
But Shayna’s story changed quite a bit when she was taken into police custody and couldn’t shut her mouth. Unfortunately, Ryan isn’t here to tell us what really happened.
Her Story Changed
Her next version of the story happened at the police station. As we mentioned, investigators were not allowed to ask her questions because she asked for a lawyer. So, it should be noted that she wasn’t even asked anything when she incriminated herself. This time, Shayna claimed that Ryan was yelling at her, so she picked up the gun from the table and started shooting.
“He was, like, laying… his glasses were still on. He was twitching some more. I shot him a couple of more times just to make sure he was dead ’cause I didn’t wanna watch him die.” She went on to describe him as “very vain” and that she shot him in the face to give him “the nose job he always wanted.”
The “Nose Job Murder”
She should have stuck to her first version of events because she now made it seem like an intentional murder rather than one of self-defense. She literally confessed to him being alive and that she continued to shoot him so that he would actually die. Her rationalization? She didn’t want him to suffer.
This is just a glimpse of how delusional Shayna was. Based on what she said, people dubbed the case as the “Nose Job Murder,” but that wasn’t even the strangest part of it. In fact, the interrogation footage is so bizarre that people immediately think of Jodi Arias.
The New Jodi Arias
Who is Jodi Arias? Well, she was also a cold-blooded killer who murdered her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in a jealous rage. But the most baffling part of her case and the reason it gained national attention was her bizarre behavior (which can be seen in the footage from the interrogation room).
When investigators left the room, Jodi started doing yoga poses, handstands and even began singing O’ Holy Night. It was clear from her behavior that she didn’t feel remorse, nor did she feel sad that her boyfriend was dead. If that sounds odd, wait until you hear about Shayna Huber’s interrogation.
We already mentioned her incriminating confession and how she openly stated to an officer that she gave Ryan “the nose job he always wanted” and went on to admit that he wasn’t dead at first, and instead of calling an ambulance, she shot him several more times. But this wasn’t the strangest part of her interrogation.
When she was left alone in the interview room, she started singing Amazing Grace. She went on to skip, twirl, and dance which is definitely erratic behavior for someone who just committed murder. But then the footage takes an even darker turn. You can hear her say, “I did it, yes, I did it. I can’t believe I did that.”
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
As you might have guessed, Shayna was then charged and arrested for murder and placed on a $5 million bond. Her eerie confession footage was used as a key piece of evidence for the prosecution. On January 16, 2013, Shayna entered a non-guilty plea for the murder charges against her.
Since she was unable to meet her bail, Shayna remained in a Campbell County, Kentucky jail until she appeared in court on April 13, 2015 – almost two years after she killed Ryan. In court, the truth about Shayna and Ryan’s toxic relationship came out, and it was evident that Shayna killed Ryan because he had a date with Miss Ohio, Audrey Bolte.
She Didn’t Want Him to Live With a Deformed Face
That wasn’t even the end of it. Her bizarre behavior went on. Shayna even calls herself a “good actor.” The eeriest part is how unapologetic she was. Her reason for killing him was that she thought he was going to die anyway or have a “deformed face.” It really says a lot about Shayna and her values.
She decided for Ryan, whom she described as “vain,” that he would rather be dead than have a deformed face. That’s not exactly a good excuse for killing someone. She wasn’t making a good case for herself, and law enforcement was shocked by her statements.
Different Kinds of Crazy
The similarities between Jodi Arias and Shayna Hubert are evident. Both killed their boyfriends in cold blood in a jealous rage. Both had a disturbing reaction in the interrogation room, showed no remorse, and thought they could pull it off. But it’s also important to note some differences between the two.
While Shayna immediately confessed to the crime, Jodi Arias denied killing her boyfriend until pictures were found. When she could no longer deny it, she also claimed self-defense and said that she was being abused. But (I believe) Jodi’s crime was premeditated, whereas Shayna didn’t really have a plan. It seemed like the only way Ryan was getting out of the house was as Shayna’s boyfriend or in a body bag.
What Really Happened?
On the evening of October 11, 2012, Ryan and Shayna went to dinner at Ryan’s parents’ house before returning to his condo. They got into a heated argument, which was not uncommon for the couple. He ended it right then and there. By all accounts from family and friends, Ryan was unhappy in his relationship with Shayna.
Investigators believe he just wanted to break up with her already, especially since he had already started talking to Audrey. On October 12, 2012, Shayna showed up at his condo unannounced and shot him.
Let the Trial Begin
During the trial, prosecutors presented overwhelming evidence, including witness statements and text messages proving that Shayna was obsessed with Ryan. The defense attorneys argued that Shayna was a domestic abuse victim, and she had shot Ryan in self-defense.
After obtaining phone records, the prosecution claimed that Shayna sent Ryan between 50 to 100 text messages for every one text he sent her. This should have been a clear red flag. But his friend indicated that Ryan lost interest in her rather quickly. He just felt bad breaking up with her.
Crazy Text Messages
In one text exchange with one of his buddies, Ryan was asked, “Are you still dating? What’s her name?” Ryan responded with, “Shayna? Yes.” Then his friend asked, “How is that going?” to which Ryan replied. “It’s okay. I’m pretty f***ing stressed.” He went on to say, “I received 75 messages from her. I hope she leaves me alone.”
As for Shayna’s text conversations, she confided in one of her friends: “He says he is only with me because I make him feel so awful when I cry. My love has turned to hate.” Ryan told his stepfather that the relationship was not going well and that he had a date with a new girl lined up.
She Didn’t Take the Stand
Given her cold demeanor and lack of compassion, Shayna didn’t take the stand. She did, however, rely heavily on the interrogation tapes where she repeated her motive over and over again: self-defense. Unsurprisingly, the jury didn’t buy it.
Ultimately, on April 23, 2015, after just five hours of deliberation, all 12 members of the jury found Shayna guilty of murder. Four months later was her sentencing, where Ryan’s sister gave a heartbreaking speech. She spoke about her brother and how there will always be an empty seat at the table now that he’s gone.
Sentencing: 40 Years
For the icing on the case (pun intended), prosecutors brought in that empty chair from the Poston residence to pull on the heartstrings of the jurors. It worked. Although the prosecution wanted 20 years in jail, Shayna Hubers was sentenced to 40 years behind bars, with the possibility of parole after 20.
I know what you are thinking. She deserves more. This was a clear-cut, cold-blooded murder, and the fact that she may be free one day is a scary thought. However, the judge did mention that he would have given her more time because of her lack of remorse. She didn’t apologize even once.
Her Reaction to Shock
As we know, the unsettling interrogation footage was huge for the prosecution. It’s really difficult to judge someone based on how they react to shock, but Shayna was something else. Some people get monotone, others cry, some people try and keep busy, and others turn to drugs or alcohol.
There are several ways of reacting to shock, but I’ll tell you how you don’t react. You don’t do pirouettes within hours of shooting your boyfriend six times. You don’t sing, and you certainly don’t say, “I gave him the nose job he always wanted.” The craziest part is that for the two hours and 45 minutes Shayna talked, detectives didn’t ask her one question.
Ryan’s Family and Friends
Ryan’s loss is felt by his broken and devastated family, who will never get to see him as well as by many others. To this day, Audrey Bolte wonders if this was her fault. She also wonders what her life might look like now if she did get to go out with that handsome, funny lawyer.
And remember Lauren Worley, the serious long-term girlfriend that he dated right before meeting Shayna? Well, Lauren describes Ryan as the love of her life and feels so guilty that she didn’t help him. Granted, she had no idea what was going on, but she explained that she still loves him and always will.
Shayna’s Second Trial
For Shayna, things were about to take a sharp turn. She appealed her conviction, and it was shockingly granted on the grounds that one of the jurors didn’t disclose that he had a felony conviction. Shayna’s second trial began on August 8, 2018.
Once again, the defense built their entire case on the allegation that Ryan was an abusive boyfriend. Prosecutors, on the other hand, relied on witnesses and clear evidence proving Shayna’s disturbing obsession with Ryan. Once again, nobody bought the battered girlfriend story.
Two of Shayna’s prison inmates were brought in as witnesses. One of them claimed that Shayna bragged about killing Ryan and confessed that it was because he was breaking up with her. But that wasn’t the extent of it. She also said that since she had a high IQ and was as “smart as Einstein,” she couldn’t make an insanity defense.
Instead of self-defense, Shayna allegedly told the inmate she was going to go with the battered wife defense. But even more shocking was that another inmate revealed that Shayna told her that Ryan had a rich family and could “buy a new child.” Yes, the jury was just as disturbed as you are.
Taking the Stand
This time, Shayna took the stand. But it didn’t help her case. She sounded rehearsed, and the jury certainly didn’t have any pity on her. She still didn’t take any responsibility for anything she did. She didn’t even pretend to.
While she did apologize to her own family for what she put them through and “to anyone else she might have hurt,” Shayna never apologized to Ryan’s family. It comes as no surprise that this trial ended just like the first one. Shayna was convicted of the murder of Ryan Poston for the second time.
Justice for Ryan
She was sentenced to life in prison with parole. Shayna Hubers is now 30 years old and incarcerated at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women. She will remain there until September 2032, when she can be considered for parole. Ryan’s family is happy she was convicted.
Ultimately, the second trial brought justice for Ryan. His family certainly didn’t think 40 years was long enough. They aren’t going to see Ryan in 40 years, so why should she be free? The life sentence was just what they hoped for.
Would Anyone Marry Her?
Unfortunately for Shayna, she should have stuck to her 40-year sentence because this time, she got life. When the verdict was announced, Shayna cried to one of her lawyers. It was the first time she showed emotion throughout this entire process. But Ryan’s father stated that he hopes life in jail actually means “life in jail.” Since she is eligible for parole, Shayna might get out one day.
During her long and alarming interrogation, one of the things Shayna babbled on about was how nobody would marry her if they found out she had killed her boyfriend in self-defense.
I mean, I think it’s a pretty good reason not to marry someone, but what do I know?
In the end, Shayna did find love behind bars. She met fellow inmate Unique Taylor, a transgender woman previously known as Richard McBee, and the two announced their plans for marriage. She put a lot of effort into getting the marriage approved, but law enforcement was skeptical. They thought the motive for the marriage was to get her second trial moved.
But during an in-jail interview, Shayna insisted that there was no ulterior motive. She just wanted to exercise her right to get married. The pair tied the knot shortly before her second trial on June 7, 2018, in a two-minute jailhouse ceremony.
The Unbreakable Bond Breaks
Surprise, surprise, Shayna and Unique split up. Shayna claimed she and Unique were in love. When she was asked what would happen if she got released or if he gets out, she said they would be together no matter what; nothing could break their bond. Shayna said that she and Unique would remain in contact for the rest of her life no matter what happens.
She explained how Unique knows what she did and still loves her. However, as soon as she was shipped out to serve her time in a Louisville, Kentucky jail, the distance put a strain on their relationship.
Borderline Personality Disorder
During her trial, Shayna’s lawyers didn’t pull the insanity defense. It’s an extremely common defense as it presents the defendant as being mentally incapable of standing trial or making rational decisions. Despite all that, two mental health professionals did take the stand and explained that Hubers was showing symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
BPD is a condition that causes distortions in the patient’s perception of themselves and others, generally resulting in turbulent relationships and extreme fear of abandonment. BPD patients also have intense mood swings because of how unstable they are. Oftentimes, especially if undiagnosed, it can damage and ruin relationships with the people they are closest to.
She Was Obsessive
Friends’ and neighbors’ testimonials regarding Shayna and Ryan’s relationship include accounts of unstable behavior that is often seen in BPD patients. Remember Carissa Carlisle? Ryan’s cousin who introduced him to Shayna? Carissa, as well as other people close to the couple, testified that Shayna was gifted and super smart. But when it came to boys and relationships, she had an Achilles’ heel.
Even a small sense of rejection sent her into a spiral, and she was particularly attached to Ryan and wouldn’t let him go. He told friends that she was “crazy” or “too attached,” and he tried breaking up with her on several different occasions. Ryan sent his cousin a text saying, “this is getting restraining order crazy.”
She Wouldn’t Let Him Go
His text messages indicated that he wanted to leave, but he was tied down by Shayna’s emotions. Shayna continued to play the self-defense card. Apparently, she told friends and her attorneys that he told her she needed breast implants.
She also claimed that Ryan tried to pressure her into a three-way and made her feel bad about her self-image. There is no way to prove her claims, and Ryan isn’t here to defend himself. But one thing was for sure; this was a very unhealthy relationship for both of them. Ryan felt trapped, and Shayna was spiraling.
Self-defense is commonly used in assault or murder charges. If you can prove that the defendant was in danger, then the assault or murder may be justified. I mean, if you’re going to kill someone, there better be a good reason for it.
In this case, they couldn’t prove that Shayna was in any real danger, and Ryan had no history of abuse. It was really hard to build a self-defense argument for this case, but Shayna’s attorneys certainly tried. They painted Ryan as an abuser, telling the jurors that he physically and emotionally abused her over the course of their relationship and wouldn’t allow her to leave.
Holes in Her Story
There was no evidence of Ryan ever abusing Shayna, nor was he around to defend himself, so this defense seemed like their last way of rationalizing her vicious behavior. Plus, Shayna’s text messages showed otherwise, and so did forensic evidence.
There was no evidence of a struggle the night of the shooting, which indicates that Ryan was on the ground when five of the six shots were fired. During the retrial, Campbell County prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass said, “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.”
Although the defense tried painting Ryan Poston as an abusive boyfriend, there is zero evidence supporting it. Shayna’s story didn’t even add up. She claimed he pushed her around the table, on the TV, and on the floor before she shot him.
However, none of those areas in the crime scene were disturbed. With no evidence of a struggle, this was clearly a last attempt to get Shayna out of jail. Ryan’s family is extremely grateful for the jury’s decision. Forty years in jail certainly wasn’t long enough the first time around, so this verdict gave them closure.
Shayna and Ryan’s unhealthy relationship could be used as a cautionary tale. If you ever feel like you are in a toxic relationship, get out! And if you feel like you can, or that you are in a dangerous situation seek help!
Shayna showed bright red flags on multiple occasions. If she was a dude, she would be considered a psycho stalker, but since she was a girl, people played it off as a crazy ex-girlfriend. Ryan’s family stated that if Ryan had been a woman, they probably would have reacted much differently.
So, let’s all take this as a lesson, shall we?